July 23, 2009

LCRA and long range planning

LCRA is looking at demand on it's resources more than doubling in the next 100 years... obviously, it'll cause some problems so they're looking at options to extend or increase their supplies of water.

• Conservation:By far the cheapest technique outlined, it could slice demand by 40,000 to 80,000 acre-feet a year, at a cost of $110 million to $220 million, or close to $400 an acre-foot, to pay for education, incentive programs for homeowners and businesses to buy things like low-flow toilets, and increased enforcement of conservation rules, among other things.

• Importing:Taking groundwater from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer and piping it to Travis County, a yield of 22,400 acre-feet per year, at a cost of $331 million, or $1,900 per acre-foot.

• Desalination:Building a coastal plant to treat seawater and pipe it to Bay City, where it can be used to satisfy industrial demand and alleviate pressure on the Highland Lakes. Yielding 22,400 acre-feet per year, at a cost of $463 million, or $2,890 per acre-foot.

• Dredging:Removing silt from the Highland Lakes, including the Sometimes Islands, to make the reservoirs larger. Yielding up to 746 acre-feet per year at a cost of as much as $263,000 per acre-foot, or $2.7 billion overall.

• Reservoir:Building a reservoir in the lower basin and piping it up to Travis County, yielding up to 100,000 acre-feet, at a cost of $1.9 billion, or about $2,150 an acre-foot.

The per-acre-foot costs of the options include 30 years in upkeep and operations and debt payments for each project. Many of the projects could take five to 10 years to build, the report said.

Obvs, the wrench in the planning is alterations in weather patterns. Less rain and less snowfall in the mountains means less water. Period. One thing that caught my eye was reservoir construction... why would we build something down river from Austin then pipe back up? Why not use that water to supply the industrial facilities near Matagorda Bay?

Just sayin' is all...

Posted by mcblogger at July 23, 2009 09:33 AM

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