The Lower Colorado River Authority’s board of directors is working to increase its customers’ water supply by 2017, which could mean good things for Texas farmers and ranchers downstream of the Highland Lakes.
According to the LCRA, its board approved $18 million to be used for the first phase of a reservoir project in Wharton County. The proposed reservoir could provide 90,000 acre-feet of water annually to residential, agricultural and industrial water users.
The reservoir would be the first major water supply infrastructure built in the Lower Colorado River Basin since the 1970s.
The board also approved $15 million for new groundwater wells to be built in Bastrop County if approved by the Los Pines Groundwater Conservation District. That project would pump up to 10,000 acre-feet of water to the Los Pines Power Park in Bastrop, completing LCRA’s goal of adding 100,000 acre-feet of water to the region’s water supply by 2017.
According to LCRA, most of the water that enters the Colorado River downstream of the Highland Lakes flows to Matagorda Bay unless it is pumped out by customers for immediate use. The construction of a reservoir would provide the first significant water storage project in the history of LCRA that provides water storage for use by multiple customers.
The reservoir would be built to hold about 40,000 acre-feet of water and could be fed multiple times per year with flowing water from the river.