AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Lower Colorado River Authority is planning ahead as Central Texas continues to grow.
The Lower Colorado River Authority, or LCRA, said it’s aiming to add water supply to meet future demand. Its priority goal is adding 60,000 acre-feet of water by 2040 to the Highland Lakes, Austin and Bastrop areas. One acre-foot is about 326,000 gallons of water.
In late 2024, the LCRA will begin using the Arbuckle Reservoir to increase the total firm water supply to 590,000 acre-feet per year.
Other options to increase water availability include water supply storage in the mid-basin, groundwater, return flows from Williamson County, direct potable reuse, pipelines, aquifer storage and aquifer recovery, according to an LCRA release.
“The ‘easy’ water supplies have already been developed. The new solutions are going to be more expensive and more innovative,” LCRA executive director of water John Hofmann said in a release Wednesday.
The LCRA is also updating its Water Supply Resource Report, a long-term plan for water through 2080, which will be finished late next year. This includes planning water projects and accounting for uncertainties like more intense droughts or higher demand.