TCEQ proposes changes to LCRA water plan

The view from Lake Buchanan as rain fell in central Texas.
The view from Lake Buchanan as rain fell in central Texas.

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Over the weekend, The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality proposed major changes to the way LCRA distributes water in the Highland Lakes.

Back in March, the LCRA proposed to TCEQ, who oversees the way LCRA distributes water. changes regarding its Water Management Plan made necessary by severe drought conditions.

The TCEQ responded this weekend with a counter proposal or a “significantly modified management approach” using updated water modeling that reflects continued extremely dry conditions since LCRA’s proposal.

Most notably, TCEQ proposed a cutoff for downstream agriculture of  1.4 Million acre-feet in Lakes Travis and Buchanan during extraordinary drought conditions. That’s more than twice the storage level LCRA proposed for releases.

The TCEQ says that if higher cutoff levels were used during extraordinarily dry conditions in 2011, we could have preserved at least 50 percent of the water that was released for rice farmers.

The LCRA will vote on whether to adopt TCEQ’s changes to the water plan by September first, otherwise the decision will be handed to a judge.

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