It took a long time for our lakes to fall to their current levels, and will probably take a long time for them to recover from this extended drought. We have been getting by mostly on water that filled our lakes in torrential downpours years ago.
But it's been a long, long time since we had those kind of rains. As of today, the combined level stands at 42.35 percent, with Arrowhead at 42.49% and Kickapoo at just over 42%. Lake Kemp is below 30%.
The last time the combined level fell this low was back in the summer of 2004. But then rains came in late summer and fall, and the lakes climbed, and kept climbing for several years.
By July of 2007, Arrowhead was going over the spillway. The lakes declined somewhat for a while but in 2010 began rising again, and almost went over the spillways again in the spring that year.
Since then, the drought has gripped the area and the lakes have been falling steadily. Conservation efforts and some rain storms have helped slow the decline this year.