LCRA mulls water rate increase to cover operational costs

The construction of a new reservoir is discussed at a meeting in Marble Falls. (Juan Rodriquez/KXAN)
The construction of a new reservoir is discussed at a meeting in Marble Falls. (Juan Rodriquez/KXAN)

MARBLE FALLS,  Texas (KXAN) — The Lower Colorado River Authority is trying to decide whether to raise the price Central Texas consumers pay for water.

The agency held a meeting Monday in Marble Falls on raising raw water rates. That’s what city utilities pay, so any added cost could trickle down to residents.

The LCRA says an increase would let them cover operational costs, but no longer includes the costs of developing new water supplies.

Earlier this month the agency approved plans to move forward with constructing a $215 million reservoir in Wharton County, southeast of Houston.

After considering factors and input from customers and the public, the LCRA said it is proposing a change in water rates that differs from the January proposal. The revised proposal:

  • Allocates river management costs based on the amount of water used instead of a share of committed firm supply.
  • No longer includes costs of developing new water supply.
  • Includes updated cost information that has been developed since January

At the meeting on Monday, people were able to give feedback and discuss why an increase is necessary.

“Nobody wants their rates to increase and LCRA would not be considering this except we are in a severe drought and LCRA needs to cover it’s cost,” said Karen Bondy, senior vice president of water resources. “And we’re just looking for the future.”

The LCRA is holding one more meeting on the issue this week at Bee Cave City Hall on Thursday at 6 p.m.

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