Lower Colorado River Authority (TX) News

 

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Refill of Lake LBJ, Inks Lake begins Monday

1 month 1 week ago

BURNET AND LLANO COUNTIES, Texas – The eight-week drawdown of Lake LBJ and Inks Lake is drawing to a close. The refill will begin on Monday, Feb. 24, and conclude by Friday, Feb. 28.

The lakes were drawn down in early January to assist in continued flood recovery and allow property owners an opportunity to make repairs and remove debris.

The refills will occur at a rate of about 1-2 feet a day. Property owners and construction crews should have all equipment and tools out of the lakebed by Sunday evening, Feb. 23.

Lake LBJ was drawn down 4 feet, and Inks Lake was lowered 8 feet.

The lakes will be refilled with a combination of water released from Lake Buchanan and water flowing into the Colorado River from tributaries downstream of Buchanan Dam. The refill will total about 28,000 acre-feet and could cause Lake Buchanan to fall a maximum of about 1.3 feet. The actual impact to Lake Buchanan could be reduced by rainfall or additional inflows to lakes Buchanan, Inks or LBJ.


About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media contact:
Clara Tuma 512-578-3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org


LCRA awards $14,000 grant to Horseshoe Bay to promote water conservation

1 month 2 weeks ago
​​​​​
LCRA representatives present a $14,000 cost-share grant to the City of Horseshoe Bay to purchase and implement software to help customers conserve water. The grant is part of LCRA’s Firm Water Conservation Cost-Share Program. Pictured left to right are: Cynthia Clinesmith, Horseshoe Bay mayor; Jeff Koska, utilities director; George W. Russell, Raymond A. “Ray” Gill Jr. and Michael L. “Mike” Allen, LCRA Board members; Jim Turner, WaterSmart associate director of customer relations; Stacy Pandey, LCRA senior water conservation coordinator; and Susan Patten, LCRA Regional Affairs representative.

HORSESHOE BAY, Texas – A $14,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will help the City of Horseshoe Bay encourage water conservation by providing customers with real-time information about their water use.

The grant, along with a matching contribution of $14,000 from the city, will allow Horseshoe Bay to purchase and implement WaterSmart software to help customers keep tabs on their water use.

City officials estimate the new program will save about 20 acre-feet, or about 6.5 million gallons, a year. That will save Horseshoe Bay customers about $30,000 annually.

“This grant is an opportunity to implement cutting-edge technology that will help our customers better manage their water use,” said Jeff Koska, utilities director for Horseshoe Bay. “We’re grateful for LCRA’s support in helping us promote wiser management of water resources.”

Because about 60 percent of Horseshoe Bay’s annual water consumption is tied to landscape irrigation, real-time information about water use can help customers identify erroneous irrigation settings or leaks before they get their monthly bills, Koska said.

“Early detection of customer-side leaks and unnecessary consumption should lead to a higher level of conservation,” Koska said. “Less water used in irrigation should mean less polluted runoff going into our storm sewers and then into Lake LBJ.”

LCRA is proud to support Horseshoe Bay’s water conservation efforts, said John Hofmann, LCRA executive vice president of Water.

“We all need to do our part to conserve water, and this new software will help customers learn of unusually high water use or potential leaks,” Hofmann said. “Giving customers access to that information quickly will help conserve water, reduce water waste and save customers money. It’s a win all the way around.”

The grant also will allow Horseshoe Bay to allocate funds to other water conservation projects, including the replacement of aging water meters.

The grant is awarded through LCRA's Firm Water Conservation Cost-Share Program, which provides funding for water efficiency projects and programs established by LCRA's firm water customers. Customers include cities, utilities, industries, irrigation and recreational water users. Projects funded through the program can include converting irrigated areas using raw or potable water to recycled water, and decreasing utility system water loss through flushing reductions, leak detection and repair, or other efforts.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org







State approves updated Water Management Plan for lakes Buchanan, Travis

1 month 3 weeks ago

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has approved an updated Water Management Plan that governs how the Lower Colorado River Authority manages lakes Buchanan and Travis.

LCRA submitted the revised plan for approval in 2019 after extensive meetings with interested groups throughout the lower Colorado River basin.

“This plan has greater protections for ‘firm’ customers such as cities and industries, while at the same time providing interruptible water for downstream agricultural operations,’’ said Phil Wilson, LCRA general manager. “The plan also continues to provide water to help protect the health of the river and Matagorda Bay.”

The revised plan reduces the maximum amount of “interruptible” stored water available for most downstream agricultural use to 178,000 acre-feet for the first growing season and an additional 66,000 acre-feet for the second season. The prior plan limited availability to 202,000 acre-feet for first crop and 76,500 acre-feet for second crop. (One acre-foot is about 326,000 gallons.)

LCRA provides two categories of water from lakes Buchanan and Travis. “Firm” water can be relied upon during a repeat of the worst drought this region has seen; cities and industries purchase “firm” water. “Interruptible’’ water is cut back or cut off during drought; agricultural customers in Colorado, Wharton and Matagorda counties purchase “interruptible” water.

The updated plan keeps the same general framework of the 2015 plan, which created three sets of drought conditions – normal, less severe drought and extraordinary drought – that determine how much water from lakes Buchanan and Travis is available for interruptible customers in the downstream agricultural operations.

The revised plan also:

  • Maintains storage in lakes Travis and Buchanan above 600,000 acre-feet through a repeat of the worst drought this region has seen.
  • Includes the latest available hydrology.
  • Uses projected water demands through 2025.
  • Continues to require releases from the lakes to help meet specific flow conditions in the river downstream of Austin and for the health of Matagorda Bay.
  • For the first time, sets a maximum limit on the amount of stored water that can be released from the lakes for interruptible customers. The 2015 plan includes limits on the amount of water that can be diverted. The 2020 plan updates those limits, and also includes a new limit on the amount that can be released from the lakes for interruptible users. This accounts for water that may be lost in transit along the more than 180 river miles from the Highland Lakes downstream to Colorado, Wharton and Matagorda counties, and water that is ordered but not needed by the time it arrives several days later.

The state approved LCRA’s first Water Management Plan in 1989, and approved updates in 1991, 1992, 1999, 2010, 2015 and 2020. 

For more information, visit lcra.org/watermanagementplan.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media contact:
Clara Tuma 512-578-3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org


LCRA honors Llano County ranch owner for outstanding stewardship

2 months 1 week ago
​​​​​
LCRA honors longtime Llano County rancher Helen Miles and her family with a resolution and silver commemorative plate honoring Miles’ outstanding stewardship of the Oxford Ranch. Pictured, left to right, are: Timothy Timmerman, LCRA Board chair; Ben Solomon, Miles’ grandson; Marsha Spinner, Miles’ daughter; Marshall Trigg, LCRA natural resource conservation coordinator; and Phil Wilson, LCRA general manager.


Helen Miles


Ranch manager Tom Ball and Marshall Trigg of LCRA, right, look out over the Oxford Ranch in Llano County.

AUSTIN, Texas – The Lower Colorado River Authority has recognized longtime Llano County rancher Helen Miles for her exemplary stewardship efforts and continuing participation in the LCRA Creekside Conservation Program.

Mrs. Miles was the first participant in the LCRA Creekside Conservation Program when it began in 1990 and continues to participate in the program today. The Creekside program has helped her and her family implement various conservation practices such as cross fencing, brush management and pasture planting on the Oxford Ranch, which her family has owned for generations.

The LCRA Board of Directors honored Mrs. Miles and her family with a special resolution at its Jan. 22 meeting in Austin. Mrs. Miles was unable to attend the meeting, but her family accepted the resolution on her behalf.

“Thanks to LCRA for supporting ranches,” Marsha Spinner, Mrs. Miles' daughter, said.

Mrs. Miles’ grandson, Ben Solomon, said many people have worked through the years to maintain and conserve the natural resources on the ranch.

“There’s a lot of history on that land,” Solomon said. “The land is very important to us, and we appreciate this very much.”

LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson noted the ranch has been in the family since Mrs. Miles’ great-grandfather, Matthew “Mark” Moss, acquired it in 1836 through a Texas land grant. Her family was among the first settlers in Oxford after Texas became a state.

He said Mrs. Miles has carried on her family’s pioneering spirit by helping protect the ranch’s land and water resources for future generations.

“Thank you for all the work your family has done to help protect land and water resources in our basin,” Wilson said.

Now celebrating its 30-year anniversary, the LCRA Creekside Conservation Program provides cost-sharing incentives to help landowners implement conservation practices on private property to reduce soil erosion and enhance water quality within the lower Colorado River basin.

The program is a partnership among LCRA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, local soil and water conservation districts, and eligible landowners in Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Colorado, Fayette, Lampasas, Llano, Matagorda, San Saba, Travis and Wharton counties. For more information, visit lcra.org/creeksideconservationprogram or contact Marshall Trigg, LCRA natural resource conservation coordinator, at 830-596-7239 or Marshall.Trigg@LCRA.org.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org







LCRA offers community grants to area nonprofits, first responders

3 months ago

AUSTIN, Texas – The Lower Colorado River Authority is offering grants of up to $50,000 for community development projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric or water service areas.

Applications for the latest round of Community Development Partnership Program grants are available online in January and must be submitted by Jan. 31. Most grants are for $25,000 or less, but each grant cycle includes awards of two or three grants of up to $50,000.

Eligible organizations include volunteer fire departments, emergency responders, local governments, schools, libraries, civic groups, museums and other nonprofit organizations. The grants are not available to individuals, for-profit entities, professional associations and nonprofits with limited group memberships.

In the most recent round of grants, LCRA and its wholesale electric customers in late 2019 awarded nearly $520,000 to help fund 23 projects, including providing new equipment and facilities for first responders; renovations to historic properties and veterans halls; and improvements to community parks and playscapes.

To date, LCRA and its wholesale electric customers have awarded 1,740 community grants totaling more than $45 million. When combined with more than $225 million in community-raised matching funds, the total investment in local projects reaches almost $271 million.

Applications, eligibility requirements and more information are available at lcra.org/cdpp or by calling the program administrator at 800-776-5272, ext. 3140.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org



LCRA to lower lakes LBJ, Inks next week

3 months 1 week ago

BURNET AND LLANO COUNTIES – The Lower Colorado River Authority is reminding residents that LCRA will lower Lake LBJ and Inks Lake for eight weeks beginning Thursday, Jan. 2, to assist in continued flood recovery and allow property owners an opportunity to make repairs and remove debris.

The eight-week drawdown will conclude on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.

During the drawdown, Lake LBJ will be lowered 4 feet, and Inks Lake will be lowered 8 feet. LCRA cannot lower Lake LBJ more than 4 feet without risking interfering with operations at the Thomas C. Ferguson Power Plant, a combined cycle power plant on the shores of Lake LBJ.

Lake LBJ will be lowered a foot a day for four days, and will reach its fully lowered level by Jan. 5. Inks Lake will be lowered a foot a day for eight days, and will reach its fully lowered level by Jan. 9.

The refill for both lakes will begin Feb. 24, and will be complete by Feb. 28.

In addition to assisting in flood recovery, the drawdown also provides water customers and lakeside residents an opportunity to remove debris, dredge, and repair and maintain docks, retaining walls and other shoreline property. Lowering the lakes during cold winter months also helps curb the growth of nuisance aquatic vegetation.

A permit is not required for dock repairs on Lake LBJ or Inks Lake during the drawdown, but all work must comply with LCRA’s Safety Standards for Residential Docks on the Highland Lakes. Maintenance, dredging, debris removal and repair work on existing retaining walls during the drawdown can be performed under LCRA’s permit with the Army Corps of Engineers, but the work must be registered with LCRA before it begins. Registration forms are available:

  • Online at lcra.org/lakelowerings.
  • By calling LCRA Water Quality Protection at 512-578-2324.
  • In person at the LCRA Western Maintenance Facility, 2643 Wirtz Dam Road, Marble Falls, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Burning debris in the lakebed is not allowed.

For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, visit lcra.org/lakelowerings.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org


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