Supplier Moves To Cut Off Water To Texas Rice Farmers

EAGLE LAKE (January 8, 2013)--The Lower Colorado River Authority board voted unanimously Tuesday in Austin to withhold water from reservoirs to downstream farmers if the combined storage of Lakes Travis and Buchanan is less than 850,000 acre-feet on March 1.

Storage was measured this week at slightly more than 820,000 acre-feet and it’s unlikely that enough rain will fall to raise that level enough.

The LCRA has continued to deal with a persistent drought.

About 65 percent of the state remains in a state of severe drought.

The board had voted in November to cut off rice farmers only if the combined storage fell below 775,000 acre-feet on Jan. 1 or March 1.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples issued a statement after the vote in which he said, “A crisis exists in Texas as our water capacity has failed to keep up with our growth.”

“We cannot ration and restrict our way to a bigger and better Texas. Solutions need to be focused on water for all needs and not restrictions for something as vital as food,” he said.

“We must find a balanced solution that allows farmers to continue producing food to feed us while also providing communities with the water to sustain our families. We need to embrace conservation and develop new water supplies necessary to meet our growing population and increasing water demand,” he said.

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