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Fate of rice farmers to be determined at special LCRA meeting

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TWC News: Fate of rice farmers to be determined at special LCRA meeting
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Rain may be in the forecast, but that doesn't mean it’s going to help Central Texas out of the drought.

The LCRA board will hold a special meeting Tuesday to discuss the current drought conditions and emergency relief. The issue at center stage is whether or not rice farmers downstream will be cut-off for a second year.

According to LCRA, the lake levels haven't moved much over the past year. Together, Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan are about 41 percent full. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's most recent three-month outlook predicts the drought will likely persist or get worse by March.

Water experts say the only solution is to change our ways.

"In the long-term were going to have to rethink the way we supply water we're going to have to become a water-efficient economy and we're not anywhere close,” environmental activist Paul Robbins said.

Another possible long-term solution is a reservoir. In the southeast part of the state, there are three new water reservoirs that could be built to benefit rice farmers, but the LCRA still has to sign off the decision, which would allow for rain water and river runoff to be used.

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