Smithers Lake (Brazos River Basin)

Smithers lake as cooling pond to power generation plant (Photo provided by the lake owner)Smithers Lake is located about ten miles southeast of Richmond in Fort Bend County, on Dry Creek, a tributary of the Big Creek which is a tributary to the Brazos River.  The project is owned and operated by the Houston Lighting and Power Company as the cooling-water supply for a steam-electric generating station.  Water Rights were obtained by Permit No. 1812 (Application No. 1950) dated February 2, 1956 from the State Board of Water Engineers.  Construction was started on August 22, 1956, and was completed on July 1, 1957.  Water had already been impounded in a small lake, and the date for beginning of impoundment in the new lake was October 15, 1957.  The lake has a capacity of 18,000 acre feet and a surface area of 2,480 acres, at an elevation of sixty six feet above mean sea level.  Runoff is supplemented by water purchased from the canal system of the Richmond Rice Association as needed to keep the lake elevation at the normal level for the plant operation.  The drainage area above the dam is 24.2 square miles.