Fracking Further Draining Drought-Stricken Lake Benbrook

he expectation among marina owners is that the docks are going to sit on water, and that they won’t have to mow their boat slips.

But at Lake Benbrook, where water levels remain at record lows, business owners and lake visitors are wondering where it all went.

“It’s normally 12 feet where we’re standing,” said Ron Rogers, whose 166 boat slips are usually 90 percent full at this time of year.

Rogers started pulling boats out in July. But eight owners didn’t make it in time: The lake is now down 17 feet from its normal level, shattering the previous record low set in Jan. 2006.

Those eight boats are stuck in the dirt where they were previously tied up.

The crippling drought and evaporation are partly to blame. But the city of Weatherford has pumped three quarters of a billion gallons out of the lake to fill Lake Weatherford, and a gas company drains the lake to aid in hydraulic fracturing.

“I don’t know who’s getting paid for that, but I know we’re not,” Rogers said. “I know we’re losing massive amounts of money every day.”

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