Klaeger: What’s the plan, LCRA?
August 19, 2013, 9:00 pm by James Walker
With the water in LakeBuchanan and Lake Traviscontinuing to head for record low levels, Burnet County Judge Donna Klaeger wants to hear from the Lower Colorado River Authority about just what its plan is if emergency measures become necessary.
If the current drought conditions continue, and long-range weather forecasts indicate they will, and the Buchanan and Travis reservoirs drop below 600,000 acre feet of combined storage, the LCRA Board of Directors would declare that conditions are potentially worse than during the worst drought in the river basin’s recorded history.
That means that firm water customers, mostly cities and industries, would have to reduce their water use by 20 percent compared to the historically dry September 2010 to August 2011 time period but LCRA’s Board has discretion to change that percentage if conditions warrant.
More specific information is required, Klaeger said Monday at a water issues meeting sponsored by the county at the Burnet Community Center.
"I want to meet with (LCRA Chairman) Tim Timmerman, other board members and (LCRA general manager) Becky Motal and find out if there is a plan for when we hit the drought of record and what it is,” Klaeger said. "I don’t want to be surprised when the drought of record hits.”
In addition to trying to arrange a meeting with Timmerman, Motal and other directors and staff, Klaeger likely will make a direct appeal today during LCRA’s Water Operations Committee meeting and/or at Wednesday’s meeting of the river authority’s board of directors.
The 10-year drought of the 1940s and 50s is known as the Drought of Record and the record low level of stored water in the Buchanan and Travis reservoirs was 621,221 acre feet on Sept. 9, 1952.
The storage level in the two reservoirs Monday was 693,000 acre feet and projections indicate they could fall below that sometime in September or early October unless there are heavy rains in the interim.
The two reservoirs are the primary source of drinking water and other vital household needs for more than a million people in Central Texas.
For the full story, see the Tuesday edition of The Highlander.
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