LCRA approves Spicewood Beach, downstream reservoir projects
January 16, 2013, 7:00 pm by James Walker
The Lower Colorado River Authority’s board of directors Wednesday approved a staff proposal to build a new water intake system on Lake Travis and 475,000 gallon per day water treatment plan to serve the Spicewood Beach community.
The project, which is expected to take four to six months, will alleviate a nearly year-long water shortage that has necessitated hauling thousands of gallons of water each day by truck to the community’s water plant to sustain necessary use by Spicewood Beach residents, businesses and schools.
The estimated cost of the project is $1,200,000.
Also Wednesday, the directors took a major step toward building a new downstream reservoir and meeting the utility’s goal of adding 100,000 acre-feet to the region’s water supply by 2017.
The directors approved $18 million for the first phase of the project, which entails buying property in Wharton County near Lane City and beginning the engineering and permitting for a new reservoir capable of providing 90,000 acre-feet of water a year.
The directors also also approved $15 million to install new groundwater wells in Bastrop County if the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District approves the project.
LCRA has applied for a permit with the groundwater district to pump up to 10,000 acre-feet a year to serve the Lost Pines Power Park in Bastrop County.
When coupled with the Lane City reservoir, the projects would meet the Board’s goal to add 100,000 acre-feet of new water supply by 2017, LCRA General Manager Becky Motal said.
The preliminary cost estimate for the Lane City reservoir is $206 million and LCRA will seek grants, loans and other outside funding sources to help pay for the rest of the project, Motal said.
The reservoir would be the first major water supply infrastructure built in the lower Colorado River basin since the 1970s.
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