The effects that human-caused pollution can have on weather patterns sometimes lead to surprising results. In Texas, a drought combined with high temperatures has resulted in water levels getting so low that a previously underwater cave and 19th-century ruins have surfaced for the first time in decades.
What is happening?
Low water levels at Canyon Lake in Texas, just outside of San Antonio, have led to the reemergence of the remnants of Hancock and Crane’s Mill, towns that were founded in the 1850s. A previously hidden series of caves has also appeared.
The water levels of the lake, which was constructed in 1958 to help mitigate flooding, have reached 18 feet lower than normal, the lowest recorded level in recent history, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Why is this concerning?
While some local residents are conflicted, due to the excitement of the historic ruins resurfacing, water disappearing is never a good thing.
“It is very sad to see it, but on the other hand, it is very cool seeing some of the hidden caves,” one resident who works near the lake told CNN.
“I haven’t seen the water this low since I moved here,” another resident said. “It’s actually kind of sad.”
In addition, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has had to shut down lakeside recreation as the water levels have dropped. “As the lake level drops, there are more underwater hazards such as tree stumps and large rocks that are at or near the surface,” a spokesperson told CNN. “These hazards present greater risks to boaters and swimmers.”
What is everyone saying?
Like the local residents, the Yahoo! commenters found themselves conflicted.
“I’m sorry I’d like to take advantage of a lack of water, what with the hardships that it presents…But I’d sure like to take a metal detector out there,” wrote one.
“Texas has over 800 golf courses which use millions of gallons of water a year that can be used to water crops and for drinking water, there’s a water shortage globally and we need to conserve,” another pointed out.
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