On Jan. 18, 2017, the LCRA Board of Directors adopted updates to the agricultural Drought Contingency Plan, contract rules, and contract forms for interruptible agricultural customers in the Garwood, Gulf Coast and Lakeside agricultural divisions and Pierce Ranch. The Board also adopted 2017 rates for customers in the LCRA divisions.
Drought Contingency Plan addresses the allocation of interruptible water to the four downstream agricultural operations, and the allocation between customers within LCRA's agricultural divisions.
Interruptible Agricultural Water Contract Rules include the procedures for obtaining contracts with LCRA, as well as the standard terms and conditions applicable to the contracts.
Here are the 2017 contract forms adopted by the Board:
Customers in the Garwood Irrigation Division.
Customers who grow rice or turf in the Gulf Coast and Lakeside irrigation divisions.
Customers who use water for supplemental agricultural purposes such as aquaculture, row crop and wildlife management in the Gulf Coast and Lakeside irrigation divisions.
Farmers who wish to transport groundwater through the LCRA canal system in the Gulf Coast and Lakeside irrigation divisions.
Water supplies managed by LCRA are divided into firm and interruptible water. Firm water is available even during a severe drought. During water shortages, the supply of interruptible water, which is mostly used for agriculture, is reduced or cut off completely.
LCRA sells water for many uses: municipal, irrigation, industrial, agricultural, recreational, domestic use and other beneficial uses authorized by law.
LCRA's rate for firm water used is $145 an acre-foot per year. LCRA's rate for firm water reserved for future use is $72.50 an acre-foot per year. The reservation fee helps pay the cost of storing and managing reserved water supplies. The total amount of water under contract with LCRA sets the Maximum Annual Quantity (MAQ). LCRA's rate for use in excess of the MAQ – known as the “firm water inverted block fee” – is $290 an acre-foot per year.
Municipal, industrial and other firm uses
LCRA requires customers such as municipalities to secure a firm water supply contract to use water from the Highland Lakes or the lower Colorado River.
Water conservation planning
LCRA water customers are required to develop a water conservation plan, unless they are domestic use customers or temporary customers. LCRA customers are encouraged to adopt and implement elements of LCRA’s
Landscape Conservation Guidelines.
LCRA requires its municipal retail, wholesale and all non-LCRA irrigation division customers implement a drought contingency plan. LCRA must approve the plans before a water sale contract is executed.
Highland Lakes Domestic Use Contract Program offers residential property owners contracts to pump water from one of the Highland Lakes for domestic use. The contracts are for up to 10 years and up to 10 acre-feet of water per year. These are firm water contracts.
Landscape irrigation and recreation use
LCRA offers long-term landscape irrigation and recreation contracts to property owner associations, parks and commercial properties. The contracts are for up to 10 years and up to 20 acre-feet per year.
Temporary raw water use
LCRA offers temporary water contracts for up to 10 acre-feet per year for up to three years. There is a different contract and application process for temporary contracts for more than 10 acre-feet per year or longer than three years.
On Jan. 18, 2017, the LCRA Board adopted updates to the agricultural Drought Contingency Plan, contract rules and contract forms for interruptible agricultural customers in the Garwood, Gulf Coast and Lakeside agricultural divisions and Pierce Ranch. See the blue box above for more details. LCRA supply of water to agricultural customers in the Garwood Irrigation Division is subject to provisions of
LCRA's 1998 purchase agreement with Garwood Irrigation Company.