At the August 20th Lower Colorado River Authority Board Meeting, a vote was set for the September 17th meeting to revise its application to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to amend its current Water Management Plan due to the drought that is currently in its six year.
In the meantime, the LCRA staff is meeting with interested parties and stakeholders to consider adjustments that will:
- Maintain the combined storage to 600,000 feet.
- Add a 35,000 acre-foot per year demand associated with Corpus Christi’s Garwood water rights.
- Include a three-tier regime for interruptible agricultural customers that consider storage and inflow conditions, plus the use of a look-ahead test.
At this time, Lakes Travis and Buchanan which are our region’s water supply reservoirs that provide drinking water to more than a million people, water to industries, businesses and the environment hold about 706,371 acre-feet of water. These numbers indicate that the water levels are at 35% of capacity.
According to the LCRA, should the combined storage drop below 600,000 acre-feet, 30 percent of capacity, the LCRA Board would then issue a Drought Worse than the Drought of Record declaration, which in turn would then require cities, industries and other firm customers to reduce their water use by 20 percent, and would cut off all Highland Lakes water to interruptible customers.
This drop below 600,000 acre-feet is projected to happen at the earliest January 2015.
Since the drought began, LCRA has been working aggressively to conserve water and expand the water supply. In fact, the LCRA has discontinued Highland Lakes water to most interruptible agricultural customers for three years in a row with permission from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
In order to endure the present drought conditions and to be proactive, LCRA is 1) requiring its customers to limit lawn and landscape watering to once a week in the communities they serve, 2) pursuing a new reservoir in Wharton County, 3) drilling groundwater wells on its property in Bastrop County and 4) investigating other potential projects to add new water supplies.
Due to the extreme drought conditions, the Village of Briarcliff has recently enacted Stage 3A water restrictions.
These restrictions include:
- Residential water schedule by water irrigation system or hose end sprinkler is acceptable one day a week from midnight to 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. to midnight.
- Odd addresses may water on Wednesday.
- Even addresses may water on Thursday.
- Commercial, multi-family and HOA may water on Friday.
- Watering with a hand-held hose is allowed at any time.
- Washing vehicles, house or sidewalks is prohibited.
- Filling pools with potable water is prohibited.
- Maintaining pool levels is allowed.
- Outdoor water features are not allowed unless to maintain aquatic life.
Please review your neighborhood or city website to find out at what stage of water restrictions you are currently under. They are not all the same.
In case you are wondering how much rain would be needed to fill up our beloved lakes a KXAN article from May 28, 2014 reported that heavy rains of 3-6 inches are far from enough to bust the drought and assuming the soil absorbed the same amount each time, filling Lake Travis would need a similar amount of rain 17 times in a row. Moreover, Lake Buchanan would require 18 similar rain events to fill the lake.
If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling real estate in the Austin area, please do not hesitate to contact Mary Lynne Gibbs at 512.431.2403 or firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be an honor to earn your business.