The Lower Colorado River Authority will lower its water rate by 17 percent for water customers with firm contracts, such as cities and industrial users, beginning in January 2016.
The LCRA Board of Directors approved a new firm water rate of $145 per acre-feet at its Nov. 18 meeting, ending the one-year drought rate of $175 per acre-foot that was put in place for 2015. An acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.
“We are honoring our commitment to our customers by reducing the rate as the drought has lessened – just as we promised we were going to do,” said Phil Wilson, LCRA general manager. “This year’s rainy weather has made a significant difference in storage in our water supply reservoirs, and the drought rate is no longer necessary.”
The one-year drought rate was intended to help cover certain water costs during the drought, when revenues from interruptible water customers were dramatically reduced.
Cities and industrial users buy water from LCRA under firm contracts, meaning the water will be available even during times of drought. Most agricultural customers who purchase water from LCRA buy water under interruptible contracts, which can be cut back or cut off during droughts. Interruptible water was cut off for most downstream irrigation in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
LCRA provides water for more than a million people, businesses, industries, agriculture and the environment in the lower Colorado River basin.
LCRA’s water rates are designed to cover the costs of managing the Colorado River and the region’s water supply for LCRA customers.
The LCRA Board in early 2016 will consider new rates for interruptible water customers.
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; ensuring a clean, reliable water supply; and offering access to nature at more than 40 parks, recreation areas and river access sites along the Texas Colorado River, from the Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to enhancing the lives of Texans through water stewardship, energy and community services. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934. The organization neither levies taxes nor receives tax money. For more information, visit www.lcra.org.