Lake Brownwood holds about 10 percent less water at full capacity today than it held in 1997, preliminary numbers from a state volumetric survey conducted last month show.
The decrease is because of sediment that has washed into the lake, Dennis Spinks, general manager of the Brown County Water Improvement District, said Monday.
The numbers will likely change somewhat when a final report is released in six to eight months, Spinks said.
The lake is currently at about 47.8 percent capacity, or just under 18.5 billion gallons (56,768 acre feet), preliminary numbers show. At full capacity, the lake would hold just under 38.7 billion gallons (118,723 acre feet).
The last geometric survey before June's was in 1997.
Two hydrologists with the Texas Water Development Board conducted last month's survey.
Spinks was hoping to meet with representatives of water users Tuesday or Wednesday to discuss Stage 4 water restrictions, which, officials have said, are likely be be imposed soon.
Also Monday, activity was picking up at the site of the test water well on Corrigan Avenue just southeast of Brownwood city limits.
Stewart Brothers Drilling of New Mexico has brought in the drill and other pieces of equipment that weren't there Friday. More equipment will be arriving, and drilling is expected to begin Thursday or Friday, drilling superintendent Phillip Stewart said at the site.
Stewart said he is one of the brothers of Stewart Brothers. The company is owned by a second-generation of family members that include the brothers, a nephew and a cousin, Stewart said.
The well is expected to be 3,500 or 3,600 feet — "extremely deep" for a water well, Stewart said— as drilling reaches the Ellenberger and Hickory Sands aquifers. Water from the aquifers will be analyzed to determine whether it is economically viable to treat the water to state drinking water standards.
Drilling the test well will take about a month and a half, and three crews with four to a crew will be on the job, Stewart said. Drilling will be round the clock.
Water district board members awarded a $700,300 bid to Stewart Brothers last month to drill the test well. The company had the low bid of three companies that submitted bids.