Power Plants Suck – lots and lots of water! Your water, Central Texas!

The 2009 record drought left the lower Colorado river basin stricken, but rains following the drought had made major inroads to recovery.  Now as Texas sees more than half the state in an “exceptional” drought with no end in sight, the board of the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) could decide on Wednesday to sell at least 8.3 billion gallons of water a year to the proposed White Stallion coal-fired power plant near the Gulf coast in one of its first major water contracts since the last drought.

As I look out at the crisp brown vegetation baking in the easement outside my window, and the relentlessly hot air shimmering and dancing before me, I am concerned that there isn’t enough water right now for current stakeholders — cities, farmers, the environment and all the businesses that currently depend upon Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan for their existence.

Manufacturing and electric generation required 184,329 acre-feet of water in 2010 , according to estimates by the Lower Colorado Regional Water Planning Group, which provides statistics for the state water plan. By 2060, that number is expected to rise to 356,430.

Despite active opposition to the plant in Matagorda, the LCRA is likely to award the 40-year contract.  It has long held that it is OBLIGATED to sell water as long as it has water to sell and the use is a beneficial one.

John Dickerson, the LCRA board member who represents Matagorda, wants more time to review the contract saying, people in his district are against the plant and this is played out in a public outcry.  The LCRA board has received 2,260 letters and emails opposed to the project and only one letter in support.  In addition to local opposition to this plant, the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) recommended against granting the permit.  But true to their nature, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) granted the permit.  Sierra Club sued in district court and we are currently awaiting the final judgment that will remanded the permit application back to TCEQ to start all over again.

TAKE ACTION

It is important that Texans show up at the LCRA board meeting to speak out against this disastrous water contract.  This is no need to hurry this process and no need to tie up precious Central and South Texas water for an unwanted project.

When:              15 Jun, 9:00 AM

Where:             LCRA Headquarters

3700 Lake Travis Blvd.

Austin, TX 78703 (Map)

Host:               Josh Nelson

Status:             Public, open for RSVP, 10 Guests (Max 100)

To RSVP click here and sign up through CREDO Action

If you can’t attend the meeting, email or call and tell them that you oppose the Lower Colorado River Authority approving the White Stallion coal plant’s requested water contract.

Main Switch Board number is 1-800-776-5272, tell them you want to leave a comment on a board agenda item for Wednesday and they should direct you to the right person.

Or you can submit (their online form says question and they don’t seem to have an option to submit comments, but you can use this) by clicking here.   Be sure to reference the board member if you live in their service area county.

  • Timothy Timmerman, chair, Travis County
  • Rebecca A. Klein, vice chair , Bexar County
  • Kathleen Hartnett White,  secretary, Bastrop County
  • J. Scott Arbuckle, Wharton County
  • Steve K. Balas, Colorado County
  • Lori A. Berger, Fayette County
  • John C. Dickerson III, Matagorda County
  • John M. Franklin, Burnet County
  • Jett J. Johnson, Mills County
  • Sandra Wright Kibby, Comal County
  • Thomas Michael Martine, Blanco County
  • W.F. “Woody” McCasland, Llano County
  • Michael G. McHenry, San Saba County
  • Vernon E. “Buddy” Schrader, Llano County
  • Franklin Scott Spears, Jr., Travis County