The already dry conditions at Squaw Valley Golf Course promise to get worse. In addition to lack of rain, the facility has now lost its right to irrigate.
Somervell County officials recently received a notification from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality suspending the use of surface water for irrigation of the facility.
"It's going to have consequences at the golf course," Ford said. "It would have been worse in the summer, but it will be noticed."
Suspended water diversions within the Brazos River Basin don't pertain to the county-maintained golf course alone. It also applies to other diversions below Possum Kingdom Lake.
The suspension does not pertain to municipal and domestic use, power generation or exempt livestock diversions.
It does include others with a priority date of Feb. 15, 1942 and later and term and temporary water right permits.
In the notification to the county, dated Nov. 19, the agency issued the suspension order protecting "senior and superior surface water rights." The letter, signed by TCEQ Executive Director Zak Covar, said TCEQ was issuing the suspension "in response to the priority call."
That call was made by Dow Chemical Company, which relies on river water at its Freeport facility and is considered a first-line water rights holder, on Nov. 14.
Other first-line water rights holders include businesses like Luminant whereas Squaw Creek Golf Course and other recreational users are low on the priority list.
Brazos River Authority issued a stage 1 drought watch notification on Nov. 14, informing customers who access water from Possum Kingdom, Granbury, Whitney, Proctor and Georgetown lakes that prolonged weather had impacted water levels.
Gov. Rick Perry extended a disaster drought proclamation initially issued in July earlier this month, citing exceptional conditions that posed threat in half the state, including Somervell and surrounding counties.