The Lower Colorado River Authority’s board voted 9-6 to stop the flow of water going into the Matagorda Bay’s estuaries.
The board will ask the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to cease the flow of the 5,800 acre feet of water projected for the area.
"The idea there is that there would be a small area at the delta where the Colorado River flows into Matagorda Bay that would be a refuge area where fish and shellfish can survive a drought," said Jennifer Walker with the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club.
Walker said LCRA staff had come up with a different plan that reduced the amount of water headed into Matagorda Bay by 50 percent, but the LCRA decided they would rather suspend all water.
"Staff for the past week have been talking about kind of the middle ground with different conditions looking at just providing 50 percent of any in flows from the Highland Lakes down for fresh inflows," Walker said.
The executive director at the TCEQ has up to 15 days to approve LCRA’s request, which would suspend all releases of Highland Lakes water that is captured and stored in lakes Travis and Buchanan until the combined storage in the lakes returns to at least 900,000 acre-feet, which could take up to 120 days.