LCRA's Hoffman discusses irrigation plans

   May’s record-breaking rainfall put more water in LCRA’s Highland reservoirs but how that plays out for Colorado, Wharton and Matagorda counties remains to be seen.
   One benefit of the May rains is lower Colorado River basin rice farmers could see LCRA irrigation canals cleaned and open for use, John Hoffmann, LCRA vice president on water issues. Told Tri-County Water Summit audience last Thursday, June 11.
   “What a May!” Hoffmann said after his introduction. He noted the eight-inch-average rainfall statewide.
   The Colorado River system received 400,000 acre feet from the May rains that broke the month’s record since measurements have been taken, he said.
   He noted the river basin was inundated below Austin – less so above Austin – but the system did get impressive inflows from the Llano and Pedernales rivers, bringing LCRA storage reservoirs to 81 percent full for Travis and 60 percent for Buchanan.
   “Don’t do a victory lap yet,” Hoffmann advised, saying people have to look at the last five years of inflow – including the drought years beginning in 2011.
   “Hopefully we’ve broken the bad inflows,” Hoffmann said.

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