LCRA board votes higher cut-off for rice farmers
January 08, 2013, 3:15 pm by James Walker
AUSTIN — The Lower Colorado River Authority’s board of directors at a meeting today altered a proposed emergency drought order that will probably keep almost 150,000 acre feet of water in the lakes this year instead of being released for use by downstream rice farmers.
The LCRA staff recommended to the board a higher cut-off figure for the water in the Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis reservoirs than was previously approved at a November meeting.
The emergency plan recommends that no interruptible stored water be provided to the rice farmers if the storage levels of water in Lakes Buchanan and Travis are less than 850,000 acre feet on March 1. The request moves to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for final approval.
The storage level in the two lakes Monday was 823,000 acre feet, 41 percent of capacity.
The emergency drought order that was in effect for 2012 had the same 850,000 acre feet cutoff, but in a meeting in Fredericksburg in November, the directors approved a watered down order for this year of 775,000 acre feet on either Jan. 1 or March 1.
For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Burnet Bulletin or Llano County Journal or Friday’s Highlander.
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