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Lake Corpus Christi residents watching drought's effects on their land in real time

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Posted at 11:57 AM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-02 07:49:38-04

COPRUS CHRISTI, Texas — Jim Costlow heard the thud of his boots on the dry mud as he walked half a mile out to his boat on Friday morning.

It’s a regular routine for Costlow: Every morning, he reads the water levels at Lake Corpus Christi with a PVC pipe. He sticks the pipe into the water and compares the reading he gets with the level from the day before.

He said that, back in April, the lake had about 5 feet of water at that spot. Now it’s piles of dirt. He estimates the lake has been dropping 1-2 inches every day because of the drought.

“I’m hoping it’ll rain so we get some lake back,” he said.

He said before the lake levels got so low, he bought a second pontoon boat. Now he said he can’t use it anymore because the lake levels are so low.

Costlow said he has to use an excavator now to clear the trash that gets trapped in the dry, cracked dirt of the channel that backs up to his property.

Standing on his pier on his property, Costlow looked at the area of his backyard that used to be filled with water.

“Actually, this pier — when the lake’s full — it’s completely level," he said. "You can walk straight out. We’re about seven, 7.5 ft. low right now,” he said.

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Costlow's neighbor Billy Moorfield also is facing the same issue.

The vast area of dry grass and dirt in front of his property was lake water only a few months ago.

Now, it’s bone dry.

“If we don’t get any rain by September, it’s going to be one of the worst,” he said about the drought.

Costlow said usually he would see boaters and jet skiers enjoying the water behind his property, but this year, there aren't as many people on the water.

“Everybody needs (water), not just lake owners,” he said.