LCRA wants more input before vote on new water management plan

Lake Travis

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Lower Colorado River Authority Board wants more time to receive input from the public before they vote on a new water management plan.

The board directed staff Wednesday to meet with interested parties and stakeholders over the next few weeks to go over the recommendations.

In May, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality proposed major changes to the way LCRA distributes water from the Highland Lakes chain.

The agency has to meet the following criteria:

  • Maintain combined storage above 600,000 acre-feet through a repeat of historic hydrology, including additional hydrology through 2013
  • Adding a 35,000 acre-foot per year demand associated with Corpus Christi’s Garwood water rights
  • Include a three-tier regime for interruptible agricultural customers that considers storage and inflow conditions. The structure includes three curtailment conditions: extraordinary drought, less severe drought and normal conditions

The Water Management Plan allows for LCRA to determine thresholds for when they can and cannot send water downstream to farmers. Due to the severe drought in Central Texas, most downstream farmers have not received water from the Highland Lakes for the past three years.

The board will decide on whether or not to approve a revised framework at its Sept. 17 meeting. LCRA staff will then finalize the plan before sending it to TCEQ.

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