Klaeger: Water crisis 'emergency now'
October 08, 2013, 7:00 pm by James Walker
As unbelievable as it might seem to those who have lived it, there is increasing evidence that the severity and looming potential impact of the ongoing water crisis in Central Texas and the Highland Lakes region is just now registering with many others.
Burnet County Judge Donna Klaeger is not one of them and she recently has been pushing Colorado River basin and government officials to grasp and acknowledge the predicament the region is facing.
"We’re not on the verge of an emergency. We’re not looking at an emergency situation six months or a year from now,” Klaeger said in a recent interview. "We are in an emergency now.”
Tuesday, Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, who is the chairman of the Texas Senate’s Natural Resources Committee, and Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, who sits on the committee, urged the Lower Colorado River Authority, which manages the water in the Highland Lakes and the Colorado River basin, to commit to a plan that would allow the lakes to ultimately return to near-full levels.
Last month the Highland Lakes reservoirs Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis dropped to 631,000 acre feet of water, 32 percent of capacity, but a recent rain event dumped enough water into the lakes to push the storage figure back over 660,000 acre feet.
That is still just 33 percent of capacity and Lower Colorado River Authority officials still expect, absent a big "rain bomb” event, the combined storage in the two reservoirs to drop below 600,000 acre feet sometime next month.
When that happens, LCRA will issue a mandatory 20 percent curtailment order to firm water customers, including cities such as Austin, Burnet and Marble Falls.
For the full story, see Wednesday's Burnet Bulletin
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