LCRA breaks ground on new $250 million reservoir

A rendering provided by LCRA of the new Lane City Reservoir.
A rendering provided by LCRA of the new Lane City Reservoir.

LANE CITY, Texas (KXAN) — The Lower Colorado River Authority broke ground Wednesday on the region’s first significant new water supply reservoir in decades. The 40,000 acre-foot lake will be constructed near Lane City, southwest of Houston. The Texas Water Development Board is providing $250 million for the project, which is expected to be up and running in 2017.

“The new reservoir will benefit generations of Texans to come,’’ said LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson. “This is a significant step forward in our efforts to expand the region’s water supply.”

The lake will be located more than 220 river miles downstream from the Highland Lakes and will allow the LCRA to capture water downstream of Austin, which could reduce the need to release water from Central Texas lakes. The 40,000 acre-feet of water the reservoir will hold is more than lakes Marble Falls, Austin and Lady Bird combined.

“The groundbreaking of the Lane City Reservoir is a historic milestone in developing new sources of water for Texas,” said Bech Bruun with the Water Development Board. “The additional supply will help ensure that water demands of the region are secured for decades to come.”

Officials say the lake could be potentially refilled multiple times each year, adding up to 90,000 acre-feet to the region’s water supply. An acre-foot of water is 325,851 gallons. It is the largest project to date that will help the LCRA reach it’s commitment to add more than 32 billion gallons to the region’s water supply by 2017.

The LCRA estimates more than 100 people will be constructing the new lake at the project’s peak, and that as many as 70 percent of those workers are expected to come from the Wharton County area.

Estimated construction materials for the project:

  • 70,000 tons of cement
  • 19,000 cubic yards of concrete
  • 485,000 tons of gravel and sand
  • 3 million gallons of fuel

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