LCRA and Austin in 2007 finalized an agreement to work together to plan a long-term water supply for the City of Austin – up to 250,000 acre-feet of additional water through 2100.
A Water Partnership
LCRA and the City of Austin established a more formal, collaborative framework, which they call the Water Partnership, under which they will work together to evaluate opportunities to manage water supplies to meet the needs of this region. The Water Partnership will evaluate the appropriate timing and amount of water supply Austin will need based on demand projections. The Water Partnership will then evaluate various water supply alternatives to meet Austin’s future water demand and present recommendations to the Austin City Council and LCRA Board for approval.
In recognition of the importance of public input, LCRA and Austin have committed to a process designed to consider stakeholder and other customer concerns as part of the water supply planning process. A stakeholder group will be created to provide input on various issues under consideration, and LCRA and Austin will report on the activities of the Water Partnership on their websites and directly to the LCRA Board, Austin City Council and its advisory boards and commissions, as well as the regional water planning group (Region K).
Approval of the supplemental water supply agreement also confirms the settlement of a long-standing dispute over water returned to the Colorado River from the City of Austin’s wastewater treatment facilities. The settlement agreement was approved in June 2007 and allows Austin and LCRA to share the water returned to the Colorado River and provides for environmental flow needs in the lower Colorado River and Matagorda Bay. To implement the settlement agreement additional water rights authorizations may be needed from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.