The view from Longhorn Dam shows how water management decisions in the Lower Colorado River Basin determine who has water in a drought and who does not–a story of the haves and have nots.
From the dam, the view upstream is one of abundance—lush parks, green lawns, rising skyscrapers and a recreational lake filled to the brim.
Turn and look downstream and the view is different. A small stream of water flows slowly, dry patches dot the riverbed and algae thrives throughout. Wastewater sometimes provides the bulk of flows downstream.
Water releases for downstream agriculture, communities, industry and the environment are the lifeblood of the lower river basin. Without those flows, livelihoods from Travis County to Matagorda Bay are in jeopardy.
The Lower Colorado River Basin Coalition believes residents in the entire basin must unite to achieve fair and balanced management of the river for all parties and under all conditions, including both drought and flood.
To achieve that balance, sacrifice must be shared from the Highland Lakes to Matagorda Bay.
Here are some of the critical issues posing challenges...