Water Bill Stuck in Senate Maneuver
April 30, 2013, 9:30 pm by James Walker
A bill authored by Sen. TroyFraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) that would rein in what Highland Lakes interests regard as the Lower Colorado River Authority's willful violation of a 1989 court order to protect the water needs of the cities of Austin and Burnet and other firm water customers continues to languish in the Senate because of a blocking maneuver by an ally of rice farmers in the river's lower basin.
Another significant piece of water legislation sponsored by Fraser, SB 4, which sets up the structure to provide financing to water providers throughout Texasby taking $2 billion from the state's rainy day fund, won final approval in the Senate Monday, but faces an uncertain future in the House.
The developments in the legislature came on the day that the combined storage of water in lakes Buchanan and Travis reservoirs, which serve as the primary drinking and household water source for more than a million people in Central Texas, fell below 800,000 acre feet.
The amount of water in the lakes fell to 798,000 acre feet Monday, about 40 percent of capacity, and the number was at 796,000 Tuesday morning.
Highland Lakes residents fear the lakes could drop to drought-of-record levels if the coming summer proves to be as dry as many weather experts and climatologists have predicted.
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