Through the years: 1974 to present
August 1974 — The natural gas-fired Thomas C. Ferguson Power Plant begins operation at Lake LBJ in Llano County. The plant is named for one of the original LCRA directors.
1974 — Faced with climbing natural gas prices, LCRA and City of Austin agree to build the Fayette Power Project in Fayette County. The plant will use coal instead of natural gas to fire its boilers.
1975 — Amendments to its enabling legislation allow LCRA to preserve wildlife and jointly own property and electric facilities. The LCRA Board is expanded to its present size of 15 directors.
1978 — Pedernales and Bluebonnet electric cooperatives end long-running agreements under which LCRA managed the co-ops' daily operations.
1979 — LCRA places Unit 1 of the Fayette Power Project into operation. Unit 2 will follow a year later; Unit 3 in 1988.
November 1981 — LCRA Chief Engineer Elof Soderberg is named LCRA's fifth general manager.
1982 — LCRA begins monitoring water quality throughout the lower Colorado River basin.
January 1983 — LCRA purchases Lakeside Irrigation Company and begins managing irrigation canals in Colorado and Wharton counties.
1985 — LCRA announces plans to to sell its retail electric operations in San Marcos, Kerrville and San Saba. By the end of the decade, the three cities will have purchased their local operations.
January 1986 — S. David Freeman, former chair of the Tennessee Valley Authority, becomes LCRA's sixth general manager.
1989 — LCRA implements a state-approved Water Management Plan that governs how it will allocate its water resources. The plan is the only one of its kind for any river basin in Texas.
August 1990 — LCRA Deputy General Manager Mark Rose is named LCRA's seventh general manager.
1991 — The Colorado River Trail, a system of parks designed to increase the public's access to the Colorado River, opens at Beason's Park on the Colorado in Columbus.
December 1991 — The "Christmas Flood" raises Lake Travis to its all-time peak elevation of 710.44 feet msl, less than 4 feet below the Mansfield Dam spillway.
1992 — LCRA begins operation of the Camp Swift Regional Wastewater Project near Bastrop.
1992 — LCRA begins operation of Buchanan Dam Water Treatment Project.
April 1993 — LCRA announces that the Colorado River downstream of Austin is once again safe for people to use and enjoy, following a coordinated effort by LCRA, communities, environmental groups and individuals to reverse the effects of pollution caused by population growth.
June 1994 — LCRA purchases the first component of what will become the West Travis County Regional Water System.
1995 — LCRA begins purchasing power from the Texas Wind Power Project. The wind plant is a joint effort among LCRA, Kenetech Corp. and the Texas General Land Office.
May 1995 — The Memorial Day Flood along Sandy Creek points to a need for more local emergency information. LCRA and the National Weather Service partner to install transmitters that broadcast regional versions of NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards throughout the basin.
June 1997 — The Summer Flood of 1997 rivals the 1991 Christmas Flood in severity, but LCRA contains flooding within the floodplains. Floodwaters from Wirtz Dam create a gaping hole in the bedrock of Lake Marble Falls, requiring $4 million to repair.
September 1998 — LCRA opens the first of two premier outdoor facilities: McKinney Roughs Nature Park, an ecological paradise between Austin and Bastrop. The following summer, Canyon of the Eagles opens on Lake Buchanan.
October 1998 — Rains of up to 16 inches produce flooding downstream of Austin that is worse in some locations than during the Christmas Flood of 1991.
January 1999 — LCRA purchases the Garwood Irrigation Company, which holds the largest privately held block of water rights on the Colorado River.
October 1999 — LCRA and City of Austin officials sign an agreement to ensure adequate water supplies for the city for at least a 50-year period.
January 2000 — Joseph J. Beal, executive manager of LCRA's Water Services, becomes LCRA's eighth general manager.
May 2000 — LCRA completes its purchase of the Pierce Ranch water rights, the last remaining block of privately held water rights in the basin.
June 2001 — Lost Pines Unit 1 Power Project opens, adding more than 500 megawatts of capacity to LCRA's generating system. The unit is the first built and managed by an LCRA affiliate, GenTex Power Corporation, and the first owned jointly with a private company, the Calpine Corporation.
January 2002 — LCRA Transmission Services Corporation begins operations, in keeping with state legislation requiring electric utilities to separate their generation and transmission businesses.
February 2002 — LCRA and San Antonio Water System officials sign a historic agreement to develop water resources to be shared by the lower Colorado River basin and the San Antonio area.
April 2002 — LCRA ends its role as a retail electric provider with the transfer of its last remaining retail customer to Austin Energy.
September 2004 — LCRA completes a $50 million upgrade of four of the six Highland Lakes dams to increase their ability to withstand a "probable maximum flood."
2006 — LCRA opens Matagorda Bay Nature Park.
June 2007 — Mansfield Dam contains floodwaters from a 19-inch "rain bomb" in the Marble Falls area, protecting Austin and downstream residents.
November 2007 — LCRA General Counsel Thomas G. Mason is named LCRA's ninth general manager.
February 2010 — State regulators approve an updated LCRA Water Management Plan that provides greater restrictions on the use of “interruptible” water supplies for irrigation. Also, LCRA notes its 75th anniversary on Feb. 19.
October 2010 — The LCRA Board approves a Water Supply Resource Plan to help LCRA plan for and secure water supplies to meet the basin’s future needs to the year 2100.
November 2010 — The LCRA Board votes to sell its 32 rural and suburban water and wastewater utilities. Also, LCRA more than doubles its wind-power capacity by purchasing 200 megawatts from the Papalote Creek II wind power facility.
April 2011 — LCRA wins state approval of a permit to capture floodwaters and other high flows in the Colorado River downstream of Austin.
July 2011 — Becky Motal, LCRA’s executive manager of External Affairs, becomes LCRA’s 10th general manager and the organization’s first female chief executive.
October 2011 — The LCRA Board votes to settle a lawsuit with San Antonio Water System over the LCRA-SAWS Water Project. The two agencies agree to continue working together to find new water supplies.
March 2012 — For the first time, LCRA curtails irrigation water for most coastal farming operations, in accordance with drought relief measures developed with input from LCRA stakeholders the previous fall.
April 2012 — LCRA breaks ground on a new generating unit that will eventually replace the Thomas C. Ferguson Power Plant.
May 2012 — LCRA holds the grand opening of the San Saba River Nature Park, completing a key goal of an LCRA park in each of LCRA’s 10 statutory counties.
July 2012 — LCRA has sold most of its water and wastewater utilities to various operators.
Go back: Through the Years: 1937-1973
Through the Years: Beginning