AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - It appears the ongoing drought in Texas will keep most rice farmers in three counties from getting irrigation water to flood their fields for an unprecedented second consecutive year.
Lower Colorado River Authority officials earlier this year said that if at 11:59 p.m. Friday the combined storage in lakes Buchanan and Travis was below 850,000 acre-feet, then most downstream rice producers - in Matagorda, Colorado and Wharton counties - won't get water for the upcoming growing season.
The combined storage of the two lakes Thursday was 823,551 acre-feet. There is no rain in Austin's forecast for Friday.
When the board decided to cut off water for the 2012 season, it was the first time in state history that rice farmers were denied irrigation water from the lakes.