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The sources of water for the LCRA-SAWS Water Project (Project) include development of surface water via off-channel reservoirs (150,000 acre-feet), conjunctive use of groundwater for agriculture (62,000 acre-feet) and agricultural conservation (118,000 acre-feet) (LCRA, 2002). These sources help satisfy long-term water needs in both the Lower Colorado River Basin (Texas) and the San Antonio area while exhibiting good stewardship of the environment. Lower Colorado River basin users benefit from the additional water provided for agriculture, rural communities, and improved water levels in Lakes Travis and Buchanan upstream on the river. San Antonio benefits by securing an 80-year water supply while protecting the Edwards Aquifer (its primary supply source) through managed use

Regardless of the Project's benefits, many key issues must be addressed. These issues include, but are not limited to, the following. Note that in most cases the potential exists for either positive or negative effects due to the project.

How will altered inflow patterns affect the bay?

Will altered flow patterns affect aquatic habitat in the river?

Will altered flow patterns affect water quality in the river?

Would changes affect the Blue Sucker, a state threatened species?

Will the Project yield be more or less than estimated in the conceptual planning studies?

Will the Project cost be more or less than estimated in the conceptual planning studies?

Can Project facilities be sited to limit terrestrial environmental impacts?

A series of studies have begun to answer these and other questions. This paper describes the studies and the process used to develop the plans for the studies.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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