Recent rain boosts lake levels
Despite August typically being one of the driest months of the year in Central Texas, lake levels have gone up this month due to an unusually rainy pattern. As of mid-month, lakes Travis and Buchanan were well above their average monthly elevations and nearly full.
The August rain comes after a drier-than-average July. The amount of water flowing into the Highland Lakes in July was less than a third of the July historical average.
But even with recent low inflows, the amount of water flowing into the Highland lakes this year is already more than the amount the lakes normally receive in an entire year. Inflows are the amount of water flowing into the lakes estimated from measurements at four gauges upstream.
Inflows into the Highland Lakes in July were 24,573 acre-feet, about 29 percent of the July historical average. (An acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.)
The low July inflows follow above-average inflows to the Highland Lakes in March, April, May and June.
Through July, inflows into the Highland Lakes this year total more than 1.3 million acre-feet, more than the yearly average of 1.21 million acre-feet.
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 drinking water for more than a million people and water to industries, businesses, the environment and agriculture in the lower Colorado River basin.