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LCRA approves downstream reservoir contract

Thursday, November 19, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

In response to the ongoing drought that has created friction between Central Texas cities and rice farmers in the Lower Colorado River Basin, the Lower Colorado River Authority has signed a $174 million contract to build its first major reservoir since the first half of the 20th century. The organization’s board of directors approved the contract on Wednesday with Phillips & Jordan Inc. to build the Lane City Reservoir in Wharton County. The river authority has partnered with the Texas Water Development Board to issue $255 million in bonds to pay for the project. The 40,000 acre-foot off-channel reservoir, planned for completion in 2018, could provide as many as 90,000 acre-feet of water per year to the basin’s supply and reduce its reliance on releases from reservoir lakes Travis and Buchanan – which provide Austin’s drinking water – downstream for agricultural and other interests. One acre-foot equals about 326,000 gallons.

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