Judge decries farmers’ burden over drought
February 18, 2013, 10:00 pm by James Walker
Downstream rice farmers should not have to bear the brunt of hardship caused by a continuing historic drought that forecasters predict will stretch into this summer, Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald said in a recent letter to the Lower Colorado River Authority board of directors.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality last week approved LCRA’s request for emergency drought relief for the second year in a row, which means that without significant rainfall in the Highland Lakes watershed in the next two weeks most downstream rice farmers will go without water from the lakes for the second straight year.
"Why should we have to carry the entire burden of responding to the drought while others including the City of Austin and firm water customers have shown little interest in conservation?” McDonald wrote in a letter dated Feb. 6. "The result of total cutoff for the (rice farmers) and little or no conservation by others will result in an accumulation of stored water in the lakes.”
For the full story, see Tuesday's Highlander and Wednesday's Burnet Bulletin.
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