Organization calls for moratorium on Hydropower production at La - - No One Gets You Closer

Organization calls for moratorium on Hydropower production at Lake Texoma

DENISON -- A local organization is launching a campaign to temporarily end Hydropower production at Lake Texoma.

The organization Save Lake Texoma began earlier this year and has generated plenty of support. Now the group is focusing on putting a temporarily stop the lake's main user.

The Southwestern Power Administration, or SWPA, owns two Hydropower generators at the Denison Dam.

The generators use water from Lake Texoma to make electricity for hundreds of thousands of homes.

But because water levels are so low at the lake, the Army Corp of Engineers says the generators have hardly been used in the past two months.

"The last day they generated two consecutive days was back in the first of March," BJ Parkey said. Parkey is the assistant lake manager for the Army Corp of Engineers Lake Texoma.

SWPA announced last month it would continue to keep Hydropower generation low through the summer.

But the organization Save Lake Texoma is now calling for a moratorium at the lake for the foreseeable future.

"We want a moratorium. We want them to find alternate sources and if that involves looking at the states of Texas and Oklahoma to provide additional funding for them to find those alternate sources, that's what we want them to do," Willis said.

Because of recent rain, the Parkey says water levels have risen about eight inches in the past eight days.

Stephen Willis with Save Lake Texoma is concerned SWPA will see that as a sign it can begin using more water.

"If we don't get another bit of rain this summer and they take it down another 9.5 feet the lake will be at 600 [feet]. That'll be disastrous for our lake economy," Willis said.

But the Corp, which maintains the generators, says that's not likely to happen.

"That being said if critical needs become available whether it be to prevent brownouts or blackouts or is economically adventageous to produce power in Lake Texoma, then they will," Parkey said.

It's that possibility Willis wants to shore up.

Save Lake Texoma plans to officially launch its campaign for a moratorium Friday, June 20 in Durant.

The event will be held at the Holiday Inn "Magnolia Room", 613 University Place at 7pm.