The view from Longhorn Dam tells the story of how water management decisions in the lower Colorado River basin determine who has water in a historic drought and who does not–a story of the haves and have nots. From the dam, the view upstream paints a picture of abundance—a system of lush green parks, healthy lawns, a rising downtown and a recreational lake filled to the brim. Turn and face downstream, and immediately, the fate of the other half is clear. A small flow travels slowly, dry patches pocket the riverbed, and algae growth thrives. Much of the time wastewater provides the meager flows downstream.
Let the story be told that water releases dedicated to agriculture and the environment are the lifeblood of Colorado River downstream flows. Without those flows, communities from Travis County to the Matagorda Bay are in jeopardy.
Those of us downstream ask our neighbors to join us for a balanced approach to water management–management for all. Let’s stand together to say: Keep the river flowing downstream of Longhorn Dam all the way to the Matagorda Bay.
Communities downstream of the Longhorn Dam—from eastern Travis County to the Matagorda Bay—have disproportionately sacrificed to help the Lower Colorado River Authority manage the current drought in the lower Colorado River basin.
With full lakes and saturated soil throughout the watershed, the possibility of flooding from additional rainfall remains high.