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LCRA cuts water to downstream interests

Tuesday, July 5, 2022 by Elizabeth Pagano

Severe drought with no relief in sight has led the Lower Colorado River Authority to cut off water to agricultural customers. Currently, the entire Hill Country watershed is in extreme drought. LCRA controls the flow of water through the lower Colorado River basin, and the interruption means that no Highland Lakes water will be available to agricultural customers in Colorado, Wharton and Matagorda counties. It is the first time water has been cut off since the implementation of the 2020 Water Management Plan, which “requires LCRA to cut off water from the Highland Lakes to interruptible customers during conditions such as the current drought so water supplies will continue to be available to cities, businesses and industries,” according to an LCRA press release. “This is how the Water Management Plan was designed to work,” John Hofmann, LCRA executive vice president, said in a statement to the press. “It allows LCRA to react quickly to changing conditions.” Though there is still plenty of drinking water on hand, it’s been more than 18 months since Buchanan and Travis lakes were last full, and their water supply is expected to continue to decline throughout the summer.

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