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‘We’re in trouble’: Water coalition calls for crowd at LCRA meeting

Llano River at Kingsland Slab

The Kingsland Slab is bone-dry on Sept. 6, an indication of the Llano River's dismal flow. No water from the river is reaching Lake LBJ. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

The Central Texas Water Coalition wants to fill the board room when the Lower Colorado River Authority Water Operations Committee meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, in the Hancock Building, 3700 Lake Austin Blvd. in Austin. 

“We expect a commissioner from every county to attend and understand that they will be making statements regarding the releases of water and requesting an emergency halt to all releases that are not for the health and safety of the public,” CTWC Executive Director Shannon Hamilton told “We dropped 85,000 acre-feet of combined storage from when we hit Stage 2 drought restrictions on Aug. 15. That could fill up Lake Marble Falls 11 times.”

The Lake Travis level was 629 feet as of Friday, Sept. 15. 

“They are going to start lowering Lake Buchanan to keep Lake Travis from running out of water,” she said. “We’re in trouble.” 

The coalition emailed an action alert to Highland Lakes residents on Monday, Sept. 11. 

“Ask for the drought to be added to the agenda and come to make public comments regarding your concerns about our water supply and how our water is being managed,” the alert reads. “Also consider asking for the Water Management Plan to be opened now, not in 2025, before it’s too late.”

CTWC has been campaigning for over a year now for the LCRA to begin work on a new water management plan that would help preserve the water in the chain of Highland Lakes. Coalition representatives have sought and received backing from county commissioners, city councils, and local residential organizations across Central Texas over the past year. The nonprofit has also held a number of town hall meetings espousing the need for an updated plan. 

The LCRA responded by holding town hall meetings of its own, including sending Vice President of Water John Hofmann to the Lake Buchanan Communities Alliance to explain the authority’s position. 

“(Lakes Buchanan and Travis) are built to capture water in wet times so that we have water to use during dry times,” Hofmann told the crowd at the April 24 meeting. “They’re going to fluctuate as they fill, are used, and refilled. That’s a fundamental premise of water supply reservoirs. We can’t really supply water and keep the lakes full. They’re going to go up a lot when it rains a lot, and they’re going to go down when it doesn’t.”

LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson sent a letter to firm water customers in August 2022. Display ads purchased in local publications, including, explained the LCRA’s position.

“The (water management) plan is designed for projected demands for the year 2025, and the yearly demands we’ve seen to date have been below the 2025 projections,” Wilson said in the letter. “Those projections are so fundamental to the (water management plan), they also are the basis for triggering the next revision process.”

That was a year ago. An even hotter, drier summer followed this year, which has the Central Texas Water Coalition even more determined to kickstart the process for updating the water management plan before 2025. 

For those who can’t attend the meeting, comments may be emailed to,, and

2 thoughts on “‘We’re in trouble’: Water coalition calls for crowd at LCRA meeting

  1. There is no potential-problem planning. There is only post-catastrophe reaction, and then finger pointing.

  2. unless some planning with the horrible growth here and the need for more and more water, we could face a dire situation

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