Texas Department of Public Transportation CEO Phil Wilson has been called a "problem solver" by current members of the Lower Colorado River Authority Board. As LCRA’s new General Manager, he’ll need to be just that as the Board has recently voted to stop the flow of water headed downstream from Lakes Travis and Buchanan to Texas’ rice farming region for the third year in a row.
The LCRA’s Jerry White says, “We are a place that has some complex issues facing us, the biggest of which is a drought that has gone on several years, and we are at record low inflows going into our lakes.”
White says one of the things Wilson will be charged with is overseeing a project to provide an additional 100-thousand acre feet of water downstream. “One part of that is the reservoir project in the lower basin,” White says. “The goal is to have it online by 2017.”
The LCRA is constructing the off-channel reservoir in Wharton County. Wilson, and TxDOT, was in the spotlight recently after he announced the transportation group was going to be converting roads in South Texas back into gravel. That decision was put on hold while the state legislature attempts to find billions of dollars that TxDOT requested but did not receive during the 83rd legislative session. The LCRA Board began to look for a new general manager when the 27-year veteran Becky Motal announced she was resigning in September. Wilson starts his new job with the LCRA in February.