Even with drier March, Highland Lakes remain at above-average levels
Levels in lakes Travis and Buchanan now have been above average for more than a year.
LCRA projections for Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan show the lakes are expected to remain at above-average levels through spring, even if weather conditions turn drier.
In March, the Highland Lakes watershed received below-average amounts of rain. Inflows into the Highland Lakes in March were about 63 percent of the March historical average and totaled 56,316 acre-feet. Inflows are the amount of water flowing into the lakes estimated from measurements at four gauges upstream. (An acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.)
The Highland Lakes were created to manage floods and capture water when it rains to ensure the region has a reliable water supply during dry times. Lakes Travis and Buchanan provide water for more than a million people and to industries, businesses, the environment and agriculture in the lower Colorado River basin.
LCRA manages lakes Travis and Buchanan under the 2015 Water Management Plan. Under the plan, up to 202,000 acre-feet of interruptible stored water will be available for agriculture in the Gulf Coast, Lakeside and Pierce Ranch irrigation operations during the first half of the growing season in 2017, from mid-March to late summer. This water will be used only as needed; the actual amount used will depend on weather and farm conditions. Water availability for the second half of the growing season, from late summer to mid-October, will be determined after July 1.