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LCRA Emergency Orders

The TCEQ's executive director has issued emergency orders to the Lower Colorado River Authority to ensure that the water supply for all firm customer needs (drinking water, industrial uses, and other firm demands) in Central Texas is conserved during this persistent drought as contemplated under the LCRA's water rights.

 

 

July 2014 Emergency Order

On July 24, 2014, the TCEQ’s executive director granted an emergency authorization to the LCRA to temporarily amend its Water Management Plan to suspend all interruptible releases of stored water to customers within the Lakeside, Pierce Ranch, and Gulfcoast irrigation operations for the duration of the order. This item is posted for consideration by the Commission at the public meeting on Aug. 6, 2014, at 9:30 a.m., in Building E, 12100 Park 35 Circle, TCEQ, Austin, Texas.

LCRA Application for New Emergency Order

The LCRA’s application for an emergency order to temporarily amend its Water Management Plan was filed July 3, 2014.

May 2014 Emergency Order

On May 22, 2014, the TCEQ’s executive director granted an emergency authorization to the LCRA to extend the previous emergency order, which temporarily amends its 2010 Water Management Plan, for an additional 60 days through July 25, 2014. This item is posted for consideration by the TCEQ commissioners at the public meeting scheduled on June 4, 2014.

January and February 2014 Emergency Orders

On Jan. 27, 2014, the TCEQ's executive director granted an emergency authorization to the LCRA to temporarily amend its 2010 Water Management Plan (WMP). On Feb. 26, 2014, the Commission affirmed the executive director's order in part and modified it in part. The key modification made by the Commission is the deletion of a specific level for triggering releases of interruptible stored water to downstream irrigators based on combined storage in lakes Buchanan and Travis. Instead, the commissioners' modified emergency order alleviates the LCRA of any obligation to make interruptible releases to downstream farmers within the LCRA's Gulf Coast and Lakeside divisions and Pierce Ranch during the 120-day term of the order, regardless of the lakes’ combined storage level. Additionally, the modified order does not include provisions for a possible 60-day renewal period without further Commission action.

As further background, the executive director's emergency order changed the trigger for releases of interruptible stored water to a combined storage level of 1.1 million acre feet as of March 1, 2014. The SOAH Administrative Law Judges, who conducted further hearing on the matter, proposed modifications to the executive director's order, including changing the 1.1 million acre feet trigger level to 1.4 million acre feet. At the public meeting on the 26th, the commissioners noted that all parties agreed, based on existing conditions, that an emergency order should be issued resulting in no interruptible releases to downstream irrigators. After further discussion, the commissioners then moved forward with a motion which adopted the Administrative Law Judges' Proposed Order (which affirmed the executive director's order in part and modified it in part) and then modified that proposed order in several ways, including replacing the specified trigger levels with full suspension of releases of interruptible stored water to downstream farmers within the LCRA's Gulf Coast and Lakeside divisions and Pierce Ranch for the 120-day duration of the order.