THIS IS SERIOUS. IT AFFECTS YOU.
The Central Texas Water Coalition advocates for
* Responsible water management policies that minimize fire risks, risks to the drinking water supply and adverse economic impacts that result from very low lake levels
* Equitable pricing for water to encourage conservation by all
* Use of current scientific data in water management decisions
Support the CTWC’s work to advocate for responsible water management policies, equitable pricing and greater conservation by all.
YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVE LCRA!
In 1977, responding to scandals in federal and state institutions, the Texas Legislature passed the Texas Sunset Act to restore public confidence in state government. This law establishes a review process for state agencies to ensure that state government is transparent and responsive to the people of Texas. Reviews conducted by the Sunset Advisory Commission (Sunset) create a unique opportunity and powerful incentive for the Legislature and stakeholders to look closely at each agency and make improvements, which can result in changes to relevant laws or different ways of managing an agency.
In 2015, the Texas Legislature expanded the list to include the 18 river authorities. The river authorities will be scrutinized regarding their governance, management, operating structure, and compliance with legislative requirements.
The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) is up for review right now – and the Sunset staff is conducting research and analysis to evaluate the performance of, and the need for improvements to, the LCRA.
YOUR comments are needed now. Public input is confidential and not subject to public disclosure. This is the time to share your specific issues about LCRA and recommend possible solutions for those issues.
Please take advantage of this rare opportunity to present your views on LCRA’s efficiency, effectiveness, fairness, and public accountability in the performance of its duties (excluding its electricity operations), so your comments will be considered by the Sunset staff.
Once the evaluation phase of the review is completed, Sunset staff publishes a staff report, which contains recommendations for the Sunset Commission to consider. Recommendations can suggest changing the state laws governing the agency, or can direct the management of the agency to make improvements.
Please submit your comments as soon as possible by email, phone, mail or online form to:
Erick Fajardo, Project Manager Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Online form at: https://bit.ly/2xV3eyT
Phone: (512) 463-1300; Mail: Sunset Advisory Commission, PO Box 13066, Austin, Texas 78711
Below is a brief summary of the issues that Central Texas Water Coalition raised with the Sunset staff.
Improving LCRA: Considerations for the Sunset Advisory Commission
The Central Texas Water Coalition recognizes and supports the vital role that the Lower Colorado River Authority plays in the management of water resources for the Lower Colorado River Basin. CTWC wants to ensure sustainability of water availability while supporting environmental flows for the entire basin. We must all rethink the way surface water is utilized.
To meet the challenges of LCRA’s critical role, we offer these recommendations:
· Improving LCRA transparency. Review of water ratemaking processes with improvements in transparency and opportunity for meaningful public participation, including disclosure and explanation of all components of firm and interruptible rates, and real opportunity to challenge a rate at the state level. In all aspects of LCRA’s operations and decision-making processes, assure that complicated water management matters can be reviewed and understood by all stakeholders.
· Addressing inequities. Review of LCRA’s water sales contracts to assess their fairness and effectiveness in recovering LCRA’s costs. Assure that firm water customers are not unfairly burdened with costs associated with water deliveries to other customers.
· What costs money, gets conserved. Review of LCRA’s interruptible water sales and water rates, with a focus on their effectiveness in promoting conservation and meeting LCRA’s obligations under the terms of its state-issued water rights and the 1989 Adjudication Order.
· Science matters. Review of LCRA’s methods for determining water availability and selling water, in view of the tremendous population growth in Central Texas and the ever-present threat of drought and reduced inflows from the watershed. Assure that LCRA, which is entrusted with tremendous volumes of state-owned surface water, uses best available data and science to evaluate those water supplies, and manages and protects that water supply in accordance with the terms of its water rights.
· What gets measured, gets managed. Improve measurement and efficiency of agricultural interruptible water use and water losses, with solutions for minimizing those losses and recovering those costs.
· Improving LCRA governance. Review of LCRA’s governing board structure to avoid the risks posed by conflicts of interest.
· Due Process Right of Review. Develop a practical mechanism for challenging rates set by wholesale water suppliers. Affirm the stakeholders’ rights to participate in the state’s review and approval of the LCRA’s future Water Management Plans, including participation as a party in a contested hearing.