The announcement Wednesday of the departure of the Lower Colorado River Authority’s chief manager effective Dec. 31 comes as the agency again faces a changing landscape in power and water needs.
When Becky Motal, 63, was appointed LCRA general manager just over two years ago, she was tasked with steering the Central Texas utility that provides water and power to more than a million people through a cost-cutting reorganization that led to about 500 fewer positions at the utility through voluntary buyouts, firings and eliminating vacant positions.
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NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the number positions cut during budget tightening.
Highlights of Motal’s tenure
• July 2011: Motal named general manager, first woman in LCRA’s history to hold that position. She led a reorganization that resulted in about 500 fewer positions at the utility through voluntary buyouts, firings and eliminating vacant positions. Motal came to be regarded as an aggressive cost-cutter.
October 2011: LCRA agrees to a $30 million settlement with the San Antonio Water System to end a lawsuit over a nearly decade-old water-sharing deal. The project would have sent water from the Colorado River to San Antonio for 80 years in return for payments for long-term storage projects and conservation programs.
January 2012: LCRA announced a plan to develop 100,000 acre-feet of new water supplies separate from lakes Travis and Buchanan.
- February 2012: LCRA board approves historic 83-page water management plan that places stricter guidelines on releasing water to rice farmers and nearly doubles water reserves for cities and power plants.