Texas Rice Farming Towns Struggle Without Water

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

EAGLE LAKE, Texas (AP) - Thousands of people who work in businesses tied to Texas' rice industry are bracing for a second year of devastating losses after a water board decided to halt irrigation unless there is significant rain by March.

The Lower Colorado River Authority decided Tuesday to cut off water for a second consecutive year if Lakes Buchanan and Travis are still below 850,000 acre-feet on March 1.

The decision affects myriad businesses that support, rely and contribute to the industry that brings $1 billion into the state annually.

Tom Kallina runs a rice marketing business in Eagle Lake, and he says he is wondering how much longer he can keep it afloat. In an average year, Kallina analyzes and markets about 15,000 acres of rice. Last year, he did 2,500 acres.

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