The Lower Colorado River Association (LCRA) has decided to welcome in the New Year with a brand new lake. The Lane City Reservoir will be the first reservoir constructed on the lower Colorado River in eighty years since the creation of the Highland lakes. The LCRA claims that the lake is a response to increased water demand driven by residents downstream of the Highland Lakes and Austin.
The reservoir will be located in the Colorado River basin, in Wharton County, approximately forty miles from the coast. Estimates claim that the reservoir will add approximately 100,000 acre-feet of water to the region’s existing supply, with 90,000 acre-feet of that amount being firm water. Firm water is the amount of water required to sustain a region for a repeat of its worst draught in history. The Texas Water Development Board has approved $255 million in funding for the project.
The reservoir’s capacity is already impressive. However, the reservoir may produce supply beyond its storage capabilities.
“We expect to get a much higher yield of water from this reservoir because of the way we’ll operate it. It will be filled and emptied repeatedly,” said the LCRA’s EVP of Water John Hoffman.
Hoffman also said that the project will help the region capitalize on its rainfall.
“This year alone, if we had a way to capture and store some of this water, we could have filled this reservoir four times,” he claimed.
Though construction has yet to begin, LCRA claims the reservoir will be operational by 2018.