LCRA is moving ahead with a new downstream reservoir and a potential groundwater project in Bastrop County to meet the Board of Directors’ historic goal of adding 100,000 acre-feet of new water supply by 2017.
- Jan. 16, 2013: LCRA moving quickly ahead with new downstream reservoir
- Sept. 19, 2012: LCRA moving forward on acquiring land for downstream reservoirs
- Aug. 22, 2012: Progress on finding new water supply requires bold action
- Aug. 15, 2012: LCRA to move forward on water supply projects
- May 24, 2012: LCRA using new gravel pit reservoirs to irrigate fields
- April. 10, 2012: LCRA to begin testing gravel pits as downstream reservoirs
- Jan. 18, 2012: LCRA sets goal of increasing water supply by 100,000 acre-feet
On Jan. 16, 2013, the Board approved $18 million for the first phase of the reservoir project and $15 million for the Bastrop County Groundwater Project.
The reservoir would be the first built in the lower basin it decades. It would be located in Wharton County near Lane City and add 90,000 acre-feet of water a year to LCRA’s water supply system. The $18 million will fund the first phase of the project, which includes purchasing the property and preliminary engineering and permitting. The project is estimated to cost $206 million, and LCRA will seek grants, loans and other outside funding sources to help pay for the rest of the project.
The groundwater project would allow LCRA to pump up to 10,000 acre-feet of water a year for use at the Lost Pines Power in Bastrop County. LCRA needs permits from the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District to proceed with the groundwater project.
You can read more about the Board’s decision to approve the funding here.
The decision to allocate the $33 million for water supply came almost exactly a year after the Board set the goal of adding 100,000 acre-feet to the region’s water supply by 2017. The ambitious goal will help ensure customers throughout the basin continue to have a reliable source of water in the future, even during severe droughts.
As part of this goal, LCRA studied two other downstream reservoir sites before choosing the Lane City. All the sites are suitable, but Lane City is the most cost effective.
Last year, LCRA worked on a pilot project to determine if downstream gravel pits can be used to help irrigate crops and reduce demand on the Highland Lakes. (You can watch a video on that project here.)
LCRA is also pursuing an agreement to purchase 34,000-acre owned by Alcoa Inc., near Rockdale. The Alcoa property has significant surface water rights and is situated atop a prolific groundwater aquifer. On Sept. 5, 2012, LCRA General Manager Becky Motal signed a purchase agreement with Alcoa, and LCRA began a due diligence period of at least six months to determine if the sale will be completed. On Feb. 20, 2013, LCRA’s Board approved extending the due diligence period until May 31, pending Alcoa’s approval of the extension.