LCRA: No plans to lower Lake Austin due to drought

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by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News and photojournalist DATHAN HULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheltonG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on September 12, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 12 at 10:40 PM

AUSTIN –  The Chairman of the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) Timothy Timmerman announced Thursday afternoon that his agency will not be lowering Lakes Austin, Marble Falls, Inks nor L.B.J.

The LCRA board discussed the idea informally even as recently as its board meeting on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the agency says board members  are doing everything in their power to come up with ideas to find more water during one of the worst droughts on record.

Ryan Rowney, the LCRA manager of water operations told KVUE Thursday that there never was a plan, nor will there be in the future, to lower Lake Austin.

“We really want folks to understand just how significant and historic this drought may be. We may not see another one like this in our lifetime,” said Rowney.

Ellen Witt Ortiz, a Lake Austin resident and member of the Lake Austin Taskforce told KVUE that residents pushed back in a big way regarding talk of lowering Lake Austin.

“There was no cost-benefit analysis of the proposal. What are the economic, ecological, the environmental cost of the proposal. Then let's weigh those against the benefits.

We are going forward with forming a non-profit organization to vigilantly monitor the LCRA's actions and to make sure that the real problem gets fixed, which is the management of our water supply,” said Ortiz.

 

Next Thursday, September 17th the L.C.R.A. will follow through on state mandates to send water out of Lakes Buchanan and Travis downstream towards the Matagorda Bay on the Texas Coast.  The state’s idea is to save abundant sea life in drought stricken areas there.

 

The release of water downstream next week is expected to lower Lakes Travis and Buchanan by 3-inches.

 

Lake Travis is presently 32-percent full.

 

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