Fraser, Watson file bill to protect LCRA firm water customers
March 08, 2013, 4:00 pm by James Walker
The Lower Colorado River Authority would be prohibited from asking firm water customers to begin drought contingency measures, even if voluntary, unless they have stopped delivery of water to interruptible water customers if legislation filed Friday by state senators Troy Fraser and Kirk Watson becomes law.
"In 2011 the LCRA released an amount of water from the Highland Lakes to the downstream interruptible customers that exceeded twice the amount of all municipal use required for the same year," said Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) in a written statement detailing the legislation. "At the same time they released the water, LCRA called for water restrictions on firm customers who pay for a guaranteed water supply. That is in direct contradiction to the limits laid out under their adjudicated permit."
has a permit from the State of Texas for the water rights they manage on the
Lower Colorado River.
Cities and power plants are firm customers and pay $151 an acre foot for a guarantee that they have water.
Downstream rice farmers, who are interruptible customers, pay $6.50 an acre foot because they have agreed to be curtailed when necessary, to meet the demands of firm water customers.
"The LCRA's water permit is supposed to provide a safeguard so that an ongoing supply of water will be available in 2013 and beyond to its firm water customers," continued Fraser. "Senate Bill 1631 will ensure that the LCRA's water management plan protects its firm water customers."
Time and circumstances have changed, Watson said.
LCRA must understand that we now have a new standard of drought, and that the
way things have been done in the past are no longer our model" Watson
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