drought

©Aaron Bates Photography. Twitter @AaronBatesPhoto

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples is strongly urging cities and all households, especially those in the Highland Lakes region, to adopt his “Texas Water Smart” program to conserve water and reduce the need for the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) to shut off the flow of water downstream.  

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Texas Matters: A look at major issues from all over the state this week -- Tom DeLay is acquitted of money laundering, the American Bar Association reviews the states system of capital punishment, alleged scandal with the dunes sagebrush lizard and a water tug-of-war between the Highland Lakes and Matagorda Bay.

If this isn't money laundering, then what is?

Lower Colorado River Authority

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.

Texas is experiencing a historic drought. While 2011 was the hottest year on record for the state, 95 percent of Texas is still in some form of drought.

One of the hardest hit areas is Central Texas in the Highland Lakes region, which until recently was a major tourist destination.

Two lakes, Travis and Buchanan, are the primary water supply for 1 million residents, mostly those living in nearby Austin, now the 11th largest city in the U.S.

Flickr user jetsandzeppelins / cc

Texas is expected to have sufficient levels of stored power to serve peak demands this fall and winter. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas released its Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy on Tuesday.

ERCOT found that its available generation, even under extreme load conditions, will be more than sufficient for the upcoming fall season starting in October, and sufficient for the winter season.

Director of System Planning Warren Lasher said the ongoing drought is a significant concern, but ERCOT does not expect it to impact reserves for the rest of this year.

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