River Authority Cuts Off Texas Rice Farmers For Second Year

AUSTIN (March 2, 2013)—The persistent drought in Texas will keep most rice farmers in three counties from getting water to flood their fields for an unprecedented second consecutive year.

The Lower Colorado River Authority said Saturday the drought has forced it to cut off water again.

LCRA officials earlier this year said that if the combined storage in lakes Buchanan and Travis was below 850,000 acre-feet at 11:59 p.m. Friday, then most downstream rice producers in Matagorda, Colorado and Wharton counties won't get water for the upcoming growing season.

The combined storage of the two lakes Thursday was 823,551 acre-feet and there was no rain in Austin's forecast for Friday.

When the board decided to cut off water for the 2012 season, it was the first time in state history that rice farmers were denied irrigation water from the lakes.

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