LCRA

Texas Water
2:25 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Looking At Third Year Of Water Shortage, Rice Farmers Considering Expensive Alternatives

Water from the Highland Lakes flows downstream and eventually ends up here in Matagorda Bay.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

After being told by the LCRA that they could face a third growing season with no irrigation water, some rice farmers near the Gulf Coast are considering spending millions of dollars to drill for groundwater.

The LCRA decided they were stopping the flow of water downstream from the Highland Lakes because of low lake levels due to drought conditions.

Roland Gurtson, a rice farmer from Wharton County, said he was one of several farmers who has spent the last two years trying to survive on crop insurance.

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Water Resources
4:47 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

LCRA Board Approves Money For Major Downstream Reservoir Project In Wharton County

LCRA hearing in Nov. 2013 to decide on raising the lake level threshold for the Highland Lakes.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

 The Board of Directors for the Lower Colorado River Authority has approved the next phase of a downstream reservoir that will capture some of the water heading to Matagorda Bay.

This week, the LCRA board approved spending $17 million that will go toward finalizing the design of the reservoir in Wharton County.

The LCRA’s Clara Tuma said the reservoir in the lower basin will provide fresh water to the Gulf Coast bays, as well as Texas rice farmers on the coastal plains.

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Water Resources
11:35 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Dozens Testify At TCEQ Hearing For LCRA Highland Lakes Water Request

LDuring a November hearing, the LCRA voted to raise the lake level threshold for the Highland Lakes.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Commissioners with the Texas Commissioner on Environmental Quality spent nearly six hours hearing testimony from those that would be affected by a request from the Lower Colorado River Authority to stop the flow of water coming from the Highland Lakes.

A crowd of about 250 farmers, water planners and state and local officials shared their thoughts with TCEQ about a request from the LCRA to stop the flow of water from the Highland Lakes unless the lakes had a combined storage of 1.1 million acre feet -- more than half full. 

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Texas Water
3:21 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

TCEQ Still Mulling Decision To Stop Flow Of Water From Highland Lakes

Water from the Highland Lakes ends up at the coast in Matagorda Bay.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will hear public testimony Wednesday on the Lower Colorado River Authority’s emergency request to stop the flow of water heading downstream to Texas rice farmers.

Jennifer Walker with the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club said they are especially concerned with this year’s emergency order because of the number involved.

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Government
11:54 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Former Head Of TxDOT Named LCRA’s General Manager

Lake Buchanan.
©Aaron Bates Photography. Twitter @AaronBatesPhoto

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. 

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Texas Water
2:47 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

How LCRA River Restrictions Are Affecting Oyster Harvesters In Matagorda Bay

Workers shuck oysters at one of Buddy Treybig's oyster processing facilities.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Matagorda is just another small Texas town, but its bay is one of the key areas in the state for oyster harvesting and processing. It’s also where the mouth of the Colorado River feeds into the Gulf of Mexico, which creates a unique habitat for animals that survive within a careful balance of fresh and salt water.

The area has been hit hard in recent years by drought, and the lack of rainfall has also taken its toll on the aquatic life, whose survival depends on the fresh water to lower the salinity levels of the bay, which is where shrimp hatch and oysters reproduce.

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Texas Water
11:14 am
Wed November 20, 2013

LCRA Votes To Raise Water Threshold For Highland Lakes

LCRA hearing to decide on raising the lake level threshold for the Highland Lakes.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

After hearing from state lawmakers, conservation groups and affected farmers, the LCRA board voted to raise the lake level threshold before any water is released to the rice farming irrigation areas of Texas.  

The LCRA approved raising the lake level threshold from 850,000 acre feet to 1.1 million acre feet of water, and the board also asked the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to enforce mandatory water restrictions for people living along the Highland Lakes, limiting lawn watering to once a week.

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Texas Water
10:49 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Thanks To October Rains, LCRA Pulls Request To Stop Water Flow Into Matagorda Bay

Lower Colorado River Authority

The Lower Colorado River Authority has rescinded its request to block the flow of water headed downstream into Matagorda Bay from the Highland Lakes.

In the early part of October, the LCRA issued an emergency request from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, but this Tuesday they said recent rains that led to flooding in sections of Central Texas brought the lake levels up to a suitable level.

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Texas Water
3:46 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

LCRA Could Stop The Flow Of Water To Rice Farmers For A Third Straight Year

Lakes all over Texas, like Medina Lake, have suffered in the drought. This photo taken on Jan. 31, 2013.
Flickr user jwhippy cc

The Lower Colorado River Authority may soon be requesting permission from the state to stop the flow of irrigation water headed downstream to Texas rice farmers from the Highland Lakes.

A statement released by the LCRA detailed the staff recommendation.

Ronald Gertson with the group the Colorado Water Issues Committee, which represents the interest of Texas rice farmers, said for the last two years rice farmers have been cut off by the LCRA.

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Texas Matters
1:23 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Texas Politics, The Death Penalty, Endangered Species And Water Wars

The dunes sagebrush lizard.
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?

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