AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Rice farmers in the lower Colorado River basin between the Hill Country and the Gulf Coast anxiously await the clock to strike 12 Thursday night.

The Lower Colorado River Authority is to reveal at 11:59 p.m. Central time Thursday how much water, if any, the rice farmers will get this year from the upstream Hill Country lakes.

The Austin American-Statesman ( reports recent rains have helped lake levels slowly approach the 850,000 acre-foot point that would mean water for the downstream farmers. Then, farmers would get 125,000 acre-feet of water for 2012, still less than half of what they got in 2011.

If water levels don't reach 850,000 acre-feet, only farmers with the most senior water rights would get about 20,000 acre-feet of water; the rest, not a drop.


Information from: Austin American-Statesman,

Copyright 2012 The AP.

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