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LCRA pursuing new water supply

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The reservoir will be about twice the size of this reservoir in Florida.
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The embankment of the new reservoir will be similar to this reservoir in Ohio. The sides will be about 40 feet tall.

The Lower River Colorado Authority is aggressively working to expand the region's water supply and meet the LCRA Board of Directors’ goal of adding 100,000 acre-feet per year to the region's water supply by 2017.​

Lane City Reservoir Project

The largest of LCRA’s new water supply projects is an off-channel reservoir LCRA is building near the Texas Gulf Coast. The project will be the first significant new water supply reservoir developed in the lower Colorado River basin in decades. The Lane City Reservoir will be constructed off the main channel of the Colorado River, near Lane City in Wharton County.​

The reservoir will hold about 40,000 acre-feet of water, but the water could be used and the reservoir refilled multiple times over the course of a year, making it capable of adding up to 90,000 acre-feet of firm water to the region's supply. Firm water is water that can be counted on without shortage even during a repeat of the worst drought conditions in the region's history – the decade-long drought from 1947 to 1957.​

The Highland Lakes were created to manage floods on the Colorado River and to provide a sustainable source of water for the basin as a whole. The Lane City Reservoir is the first project that will allow LCRA to capture and store significant amounts of water downstream of the Highland Lakes. The new reservoir will increase LCRA's operational flexibility, which will lessen the need to send Highland Lakes water down the Colorado River to customers near the coast, while improving water reliability and efficiency to meet agricultural and environmental demands.​

The reservoir is expected to begin operating in 2017.​

Key reservoir project milestones
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  • January 2012: LCRA Board sets goal of adding 100,000 acre-feet to water supply.
  • August 2012: LCRA Board of Directors authorizes the project.
  • January 2013: LCRA Board approves $18 million for Phase 1a of the project to purchase property and conduct the initial design, engineering and permitting.
  • April-September 2013: LCRA Board selects the design engineer, purchases land and selects the construction manager.
  • March 2014: LCRA Board approves $17 million for Phase 1b to fund the final design and move an electric transmission line off the property.
  • September 2014: Texas Water Development Board approves $250 million in financing to fund the project.
  • September 2014: LCRA Board approves Phase 2 of the project, authorizing construction of the reservoir.
  • December 2014: LCRA breaks ground on the project.
  • 2017: Reservoir is projected to be complete.
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Bastrop groundwater project

The Bastrop County groundwater project will add another 10,000 acre-feet to the water supply by allowing LCRA to pump up to 10,000 acre-feet of water a year, under certain conditions, at LCRA's Lost Pines Power Park in Bastrop County. The Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District approved the project allowing LCRA to take 10,000 acre-feet per year during drought conditions and 5,000 acre-feet a year during other years. Four wells have been drilled.​

​Information on the downstream sites

 

Information on the Lost Pines Groundwater Project


News Releases

 

R​eservoir site

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Engineering crews are doing preliminary work on the reservoir site in Wharton County. The reservoir is expected to be completed in 2017.