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Water Quality Models

​To help manage the lower Colorado River watershed more effectively, LCRA has developed water quality computer models for the Highland Lakes.

The Colorado River Environmental Models (CREMS) help evaluate water quality problems and issues, discern trends and predict the impacts of various decisions and actions on the Highland Lakes. The models have undergone a rigorous peer review or an independent assessment to ensure accurate computations and scientifically sound results. LCRA has developed computer models to help evaluate water quality problems and issues, discern trends, and predict the impacts of various decisions and actions on the Highland Lakes. The models have undergone a rigorous peer review or an independent assessment to ensure accurate computations and scientifically sound results.

The project focuses on evaluating scenarios (related to the TCEQ’s Discharge Ban for the Highland Lakes and the effectiveness of the Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance) and investigate the impacts and sensitivity of water quality in each lake to various potential changes.

The Lake Travis and Lake LBJ Phases are now complete and the final reports can be found below. LCRA is currently working on the Lake Buchanan Phase, slated for completion in January 2013.


Discharge Ban

The discharge ban prohibiting the discharge of wastewater effluent in the Highland Lakes is included in a set of rules adopted in the late 1980s by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ. These rules, known officially as the Watershed Protection Rules, are described in Chapter 311 of the Texas Administrative Code, subchapters A, B, E and F.