LCRA pursuing new water supply

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

The Lower Colorado River 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.​

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 could add 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 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 benefit the entire basin by helping reduce the amount of water otherwise required to be released from the Highland Lakes.

The reservoir is expected to begin operating in 2018.​

Key reservoir project milestones
  • 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 and purchases land. The Board hires a construction manager at risk (CMAR) to work collaboratively with the engineer to optimize project design and to perform preconstruction services, including design improvements and efficiencies, a constructability assessment, construction of test embankments, and preliminary site work.
  • 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 $255 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.
  • November 2015: LCRA Board selects a general construction contractor to maximize efficiency completing the project.
  • 2016: Construction begins.
  • 2018: Reservoir is projected to be complete.
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Bastrop groundwater project

LCRA drilled four wells as part of the Bastrop County groundwater project. The project has added 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.

Additional Water Projects

LCRA is exploring additional water strategies for Central Texas, including using surface water, treated effluent and groundwater to address the needs of the high-growth areas of LCRA’s water service area. LCRA will shorten the timeline to bring the new projects on-line by having the projects’ planning, design and permitting done before they are needed.

​Information on the downstream sites


Information on the Lost Pines Groundwater Project

News Releases


R​eservoir site

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