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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Drought-Stricken Texas Town Forced To Truck In Water

A contractor trucks in water to a storage tank in Spicewood Beach, Texas Monday, January 30. (Photo courtesy of StateImpact Texas)

Spicewood Beach, Texas, population 1,100, made news last week when it became the first place in the drought-stricken state to truck water into town because its well was running dry.

Now, Spicewood Beach is in the news again because it turns out the agency that controls the town’s water was selling it and shipping it out of town just weeks before the crisis.

The Lower Colorado River Authority, the public agency that manages the water, sold the water while the town’s well was running dry. The agency said it did nothing wrong, because it was selling the water to private haulers who in turn, sold it to homeowners, industries and construction projects.

The agency also said that once the well water fell beneath a certain level, the agency stopped selling water.

Texas officials say Spicewood Beach is one of 13 towns that will likely run out of water in the coming months.

Guest:

  • Mose Buchele, reporter for StateImpact Texas, a reporting collaboration between KUT-Austin and NPR that focuses on energy and environmental issues.

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  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Oooboy this is getting bad.  How is the reservoir between Georgia and Florida?  How is the southwest and southern California doing?

    Neil

  • Anonymous

    I lived in Spicewood Beach seven years ago. I left because the water levels in Lake Travis were getting persistently lower over the years. The SB neighborhood and a few others nearby are located at the northwestern edge of the lake, at least as far as recreational usage goes. The problem is caused as much by increasing populations in Austin and its suburbs as it is by drought conditions. LCRA routinely lets water out of Lake Travis to service crops near Houston and communities downstream. Located at the upper (shallow) end of the lake, Spicewood Beach is slowly losing access to its neighborhood boat ramp. The lake at that location is currently 33 feet below launch level!

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