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Top Morning Stories 12/15/11: State Water Plan, Final Vote on Austin Parks Smoking Ban

The Texas Water Development Board will vote on the 2012 Water Plan at their meeting today.
Photo by Reshma Kirpalani/KUT News
The Texas Water Development Board will vote on the 2012 Water Plan at their meeting today.

Vote Today on State Water Plan

We may not be thinking about the drought as much with the rain we've seen in Central Texas. But the prolonged dry spell is still going on, the state’s population is growing, and water supplies are getting tighter. Today the Texas Water Development Board is scheduled to vote on its 2012 State Water Plan. The report calls for billions of dollars in water infrastructure projects and conservation- to meet water needs over the next half century.

The board is limited in power. It does give out loans and grants to local governments, but it would ultimately be up to local officials to carry out the state water plan.

You can read the plan and check out a power point presentation on it here.

Final Vote on Parks Smoking Ban

The Austin City Council is scheduled to take a final vote today on whether to permanently ban smoking at city parks. The city says it is trying to address litter, health and fire risks. The way the ordinance is written now, golf courses would be exempt, and exceptions could be made for some special events.

LCRA Cuts 200 Jobs

The Lower Colorado River Authority has cut about 200 jobs. Most of those cuts were through voluntary buy outs. The rest of the jobs cut were vacant positions. The LCRA’s general manager says the cuts will save $20 million next year.

GM Becky Motal said the cost cutting will help the LCRA keep customers and help keep electric rates competitive. You can watch Motal's entire update to the LCRA board in this video.