Agricultural Water Conservation

LCRA’s 2014 Water Conservation Plan outlines conservation practices for interruptible water supply, which is mainly used for agriculture, and sets five and 10-year conservation goals.

To help LCRA’s irrigation operations and interruptible water customers reach the conservation goals, LCRA helps fund conservation projects through grants and House Bill (HB) 1437.

Gulf Coast Irrigation Division gate rehabilitation and control project

In 2012, LCRA completed the first phase of the Gulf Coast gate rehabilitation and control project with a $257,000 grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Phase 1 included automating and providing centralized control of 11 check gate structures at the head of the eastern canal system in the Gulf Coast Irrigation Division.

One of the 38 Gulf Coast Irrigation Division main canal structures regulating water flow that has been automated since 2012.

LCRA launched the second phase of the gate rehabilitation project in 2013, which completed automation of the remaining nine main check gate structures on the main line of the eastern canal system and automated five gates regulating the delivery of water to a firm industrial customer. Phase 2 was partially funded by a $100,000 grant from the Texas Water Development Board.

In 2014, LCRA launched the third phase of the gate rehabilitation project, which began automation of the western section of the Gulf Coast canal system. LCRA launched a fourth phase of gate rehabilitation in 2016 to continue along the western canal system.

LCRA plans to complete automation of main check gates essential to the operating the entire Gulf Coast Irrigation Division by 2019. Read more about the Gulf Coast Irrigation Division gate modernization project in the 2016 HB 1437 annual report.

Laser land leveling cost-share program

The precision land leveling cost-share program funded through HB 1437 began in 2006.

Leveling land reduces the average required field flood depth and increases the efficiency of water used on individual fields. More than 30,000 acres of farmland was leveled through the program from 2006 to 2013.

LCRA worked with The University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs to complete a savings verification study of the program in 2012. Read more about the land leveling cost-share program in the 2016 HB 1437 annual report.

Garwood Irrigation Division measurement project

The Garwood volumetric measurement project was a conservation project to install or rehabilitate about 400 water measurement and check structures on existing canals and field laterals in the Garwood Irrigation Division. It also involved rehabilitating 85 miles of canal laterals to facilitate LCRA control of all measurement structures. LCRA completed the project in 2012. The majority of the project was funded through HB 1437 with help from a $99,000 Texas Water Development Board grant.