Contested TCEQ hearing sought on water plan
May 16, 2013, 9:00 pm by James Walker
The Burnet County Commissioners Court has voted to seek a contested case hearing before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on the Lower Colorado River Authority’s proposed new Water Management Plan.
The commission directed attorney Cindy Smiley to take the necessary legal steps to seek official standing status with TCEQ in the matter of the new Water Management Plan and to request a hearing.
"The basis of our request for a hearing is that LCRA is not following the adjudicated permit as stipulated by the court to protect firm water customers,” County Judge Donna Klaeger said.
HighlandLakes interests have expressed concern that the proposed water management plan is inadequate because it does not incorporate data from 2010, 2011 and 2012, three of the driest years in Texas history.
The water in the Lakes Buchanan and Travis reservoirs serves as the primary source of drinking water for more than a million Central Texas residents and the proposed water management plan would not ensure an adequate amount for that purpose and other vital household usage would be available during a prolonged dry period.
The combined storage of water in the reservoirs Thursday was 782,000 acre feet, 39 percent of capacity.Emergency orders granted by TCEQ the past two years have prevented the release of large amounts of water from the lakes for use by downstream rice farming irrigators.
For the full story, see the weekend edition of the Highlander.
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