LCRA water release idea irks leaders
October 22, 2012, 9:00 pm by James Walker
The recommendation by the staff of the Lower Colorado River Authority last week to the authority’s board members that an Emergency Drought Order in effect most of this year not be extended or renewed has upset Highland Lakes officials.
Failure to extend or renew the drought order could lead to draining the Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis reservoirs to supply water to downstream rice farmers, further damage local businesses and deplete community water supplies, Highland Lakes stakeholders and officials said.
LCRA staff members, who made the recommendation to board members Oct. 17, acknowledged that lifting the drought order has a 25 percent chance of causing a drought worse than the state’s drought of record and could allow the lakes to be drained below 400,000 acre feet.
Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis currently have a combined storage of 882,000 acre feet, which is only about 44 percent of capacity.
"Think about your lake dropping its volume in half,” Central Texas Water Coalition President Jo Karr Tedder wrote on the organization’s website after learning of the board’s recommendation.
The issue is expected to be on the agenda for a vote at LCRA’s Nov. 15 board meeting in Fredericksburg.Tedder urged residents to contact friends, organizations and elected officials to register their opposition to the LCRA staff’s recommendation.
For more on this story see Tuesday's Highlander
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