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Reservoir Operation in Texas

Ralph A. Wurbs

Effective management of its surface water resources is essential to the continued growth and prosperity of the state of Texas. Rapid population and economic growth combined with depleting ground water reserves are resulting in ever increasing demands being placed upon the surface water resources. The climate of the state is characterized by floods and droughts. Reservoirs are necessary to control and utilize the highly variable streamflow. Numerous reservoirs have been constructed to facilitate management of the surface water resources of the various river basins of the state. The operation of these essential water control facilities is examined in this report. Reservoir operation is viewed here from the perspective of deciding how much water to store and to release or withdraw for flood control and various conservation purposes. The report is intended to provide a comprehensive, indepth description of how reservoirs are operated in Texas.

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