Austin Leaders Consider Future Projected Water Use

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Leaders of a panel reviewing Austin water use amid the Texas drought have heard suggestions ranging from using more rainwater to relying on aquifers.

The Austin Water Resource Planning Task Force held a public meeting Monday night. Recommendations go to the Austin City Council next month.

The drought means Austin-area lakes could reach extremely low levels, less supply and water rates going up. The head of the task force, Sharlene Leurig, says it's a critical juncture for Austin where water rates are quickly becoming unaffordable.

Suggestion includes lowering Lake Austin and pulling rainwater from it, applying a biodegradable powder to lakes to reduce evaporation and using groundwater from aquifers.

Another option would be putting reclaimed water, or treated effluent, into Lady Bird Lake for eventual pumping to a treatment plant.