Texas town turning to unique product to slow down evaporation of lakes
WICHITA FALLS, Texas – As lakes across the Midwest continue to dry up, one Texas city continues to look for any way to slow down the process.
Wichita Falls is looking to a costly project to reduce the rate of evaporation on the lakes.
Lake Arrowhead could soon be covered with a biodegradable lime-based powder that turns to a coating in an effort to slow the evaporation rate.
The powder will be mixed with the lake water and spread with boats.
However, experts say it will not interfere with water quality.
“If it’s separated by wave action or a boat, or something disrupts the film, it closes back up real quickly,” said Russell Schreiber, Wichita Falls Public Works director.
He says it is a method that is approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the EPA.
Officials say it has been proven to reduce evaporation by up to 30 percent.
However, it has only been studied on bodies of water about 100 times smaller than Lake Arrowhead.
“It’s extremely difficult to measure how effective it is because you got inflows coming in, we’ve got people taking water out of the lake, the climatic conditions, it may be windy one day,” said Schreiber.
The lake currently sits at 20 percent capacity and Schreiber says it may be worth it to try and save every last drop.
The estimated cost for the powder is almost $400,000, but before it can be purchased, it must be approved by the city council.