As Austin's Lakes Dwindle, Gulf Coast May Also Suffer

As the Highland Lakes that supply Austin's water continue to dwindle, the Lower Colorado River Authority may take the unprecedented step of cutting off freshwater flows it normally releases from the lakes into Matagorda Bay.

Facing an increasingly desperate need for water to supply cities like Austin, the LCRA is considering whether to ask permission from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to cut off the freshwater flows, sometimes known as "environmental flows," that are usually required by the state to maintain the ecological health of water bodies farther downstream that the Colorado River empties into, namely Matagorda Bay ...

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