JETMORE, Kansas – The HorseThief Reservoir was completed in 2009 and rains that year filled it up about 80 percent.
“Then we went through some of the driest years since the 30s, so it pretty well proved that the lake will hold water,” said Gerald Schlereth, a member of the Pawnee Watershed Board.
The man-made lake lost water through the drought, but with seven feet in the last week or so, it’s 65 percent full.
“It’s doing great, there was a lot skepticism,” said manager Josh Hobbs. “It has held water even in the tough drought, so we’ve been very fortunate and a lot of people have been able to enjoy it.”
So, where does all that water come from? The reservoir is part of the Pawnee Watershed, and is fed by Buckner Creek, one of the only live creeks in the region.
One million gallons of water pour in from the Creek each day, averaging the flow between wet and dry periods.
Now, with relief from such dry weather, people from surrounding counties, and even out of Oklahoma, are coming to enjoy the water in time for the holiday weekend.
“It’s been a steady flow of traffic all week just to see the water in Western Kansas,” said Hobbs.