LCRA sells water to customers through contracts and resolutions approved by LCRA's Board of Directors.
By obtaining a contract from LCRA, cities, industries and homeowners in the lower Colorado River basin may secure a supply of "firm" water that is available even during dry periods that are equal to the worst drought on record.
Amendments to contract and drought contingency plan rules
The LCRA Board of Directors on Dec. 18, 2013, approved changes to the firm water contract rules on pro rata curtailment and the drought contingency plan rules. The approved rules are below:
The approved changes include:
- Waiving the surcharge for a customer that exceeds its pro rata allotment by up to 10 percent if the customer has implemented all LCRA-recommended drought response measures for the particular drought stage;
- Adding new recommended minimum drought response measures under pro rata curtailment for firm municipal and irrigation customers;
- Changing the time for assessing a customer's water savings in pro rata curtailment to a 12-month period, rather than a calendar year; and
- Allowing a variance based on public health, welfare and safety to apply retroactively if it is sought within 10 days of the condition causing the issue.
LCRA's rate for firm water actually used is currently $151 an acre-foot per year. LCRA's rate for firm water reserved for future use is $75.50 an acre-foot per year. The reservation fee helps pay LCRA's cost of storing and managing the reserved water supplies. The total amount of water under contract with LCRA sets the Maximum Annual Quantity (MAQ). LCRA's rate for firm water inverted block fee for use in excess of the Maximum Annual Quantity is $302 an acre-foot per year.
Water uses under LCRA's water sale contracts include: municipal, industrial, agricultural, recreational, domestic use, and other beneficial uses authorized by law.
The LCRA Board of Directors on June 18, 2014, approved a new one-year "drought rate" for firm water customers for 2015. Firm customers, including many cities in Central Texas, will pay the new rate of $175 per acre-foot beginning with the January 2015 billing cycle. The new firm customer rate also will apply to domestic use customers who draw water directly from the Highland Lakes. The Board also approved new rates for interruptible customers in the Garwood Irrigation Division. Beginning this year, Garwood customers will pay an effective diversion rate of $39.37 per acre-foot, a 20 percent increase.
Residential property owners can obtain one to three-year contracts from LCRA to pump water for domestic use from one of the lakes. These are "firm" contracts, meaning the water is reserved even during severe drought conditions. The following documents provide more information on applying for a contract. Click to view the
Highland Lakes Domestic Use Contract Program.
TEMPORARY RAW WATER USES
Temporary raw water application packet: Temporary water contracts can be obtained for up to 10 acre-feet per year and for up to three years. If an applicant seeks a temporary contract for more than 10 acre-feet per year or for a term longer than three years, a different contract form and application process is followed.
MUNICIPAL, INDUSTRIAL AND OTHER FIRM USES
Water conservation planning for wholesale water customers and other users
Drought planning for wholesale water customers and other users
Drought contingency plan rules for water sale contracts: Municipal retail, wholesale and all non-LCRA irrigation division customers are required to implement a drought contingency plan in accordance with these rules. These plans must be approved by LCRA before a water sale contract can be executed.
Please note that these plans are simply recommendations based on LCRA staff research on what has worked with other communities and businesses. The specific requirements for DCPs are found in the DCP rules for water sale contracts.
AGRICULTURAL IRRIGATION CONTRACTS