Feb. 27 Is Deadline for LCRA Conservation Plan Survey

The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA,Texas) is seeking public input on a proposed 10-year water conservation program that could save as much as 2 billion gallons of water each year by 2019. The program targets cities and communities that get their drinking water from the lower Colorado River, including the Highland Lakes.

LCRA is seeking public comment on its draft plan through an online survey by Feb. 27. To review the draft plan or for more information about LCRA’s water conservation program visit www.lcra.org/savewater.

Since the mid-1980s, LCRA has focused significant efforts on saving water among agricultural water users, which use the largest amount of water in the lower Colorado River basin. LCRA also offers public education through the statewide Water IQ program. As water use among cities and communities increases, LCRA is proposing conservation programs to help residents and businesses save water.

“With this proposed program LCRA is stepping up its efforts to use water more efficiently by offering a comprehensive water conservation program including incentive programs for customers and standards for new construction in our region,” said Karen Bondy, manager of river services.

LCRA staff spent the past 18 months studying successful water conservation programs and working with its Water Conservation Task Force to identify water-saving measures that are cost effective, can be reasonably adopted for this region, and that have been proven to reduce water use. The proposed program could include incentive programs to offer water-saving fixtures such as high efficiency toilets, requirements that new construction meet standards for soil requirements and irrigation systems, and also expands LCRA’s education outreach efforts to provide useful information to consumers.

As steward of the lower Colorado River, LCRA is the wholesale water provider to 64 municipal water customers around the Highland Lakes and provides water to irrigation customers such as golf courses, lakeside residents, and industrial customers.

“LCRA wants to work closely with the cities and communities that we serve to bring a progressive water conservation program to this region,” said Nora Mullarkey, LCRA’s water conservation program manager. “Studies show that implementing a comprehensive water conservation program can help consumers save money on their water bill and can delay construction of water facilities.”

The 2009 LCRA Raw Water Conservation Plan also includes water conservation goals for LCRA’s irrigation divisions located in the lower portion of the basin. Comments from the public will be shared with the LCRA Board of Directors as they consider adoption of the conservation plan this spring.