Texas Rice Farmers Won’t Get Water For Irrigation

AUSTIN (AP) – A Central Texas river authority said Friday that Hill Country lakes fell short of levels sufficient to provide irrigation water to downriver rice farmers.

That makes 2012 the first year in which the farmers will not get the water from the Lower Colorado River Authority.

As of Friday morning, lakes Travis and Buchanan were about 3,200 acre-feet, or more than 1 billion gallons, short of the level they’d need to reach for the farmers to receive water.

LCRA spokeswoman Clara Tuma had said Thursday that the authority did not expect to reach the 850,000 acre-feet lake levels needed to provide water to the farmers.

Rice farmers have been preparing for such a situation for months. They’ve known the worst 1-year drought in Texas history had so severely depleted the Highland Lakes it was unlikely it could rain enough for them to plant their crops.

Texas is one of the six largest rice producers in the country. The farmers in the Colorado River basin make up almost three-quarters of the state’s total rice acreage.

At current lake levels, a small percentage of farmers, those with senior water rights along the river, will get about 20,000 acre-feet of water. The rest will not get any.

The drought has eased in recent weeks with some significant winter rains. But most of the state still remains under some level of drought.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Also Check Out:

  • http://fortworthinsight.com/news/texas-rice-farmers-wont-get-irrigation-water/ Texas Rice Farmers Won’t Get Irrigation Water « Fort Worth News Feeds

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  • http://fortworthinsight.com/news/texas-rice-farmers-wont-get-water-for-irrigation/ Texas Rice Farmers Won’t Get Water For Irrigation « Fort Worth News Feeds

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  • David Hazzard

    Entering the 21 century with all of our vaulted technology and knowledge and still we continue to build billion dollar athletic stadiums and ignore water shortages. When will we grow up?

  • lawerance price

    growing rice in texas isnt the best idea anyway . throw in a drought and its a dumb idea .

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