LCRA strongly encourages additional water conservation as lake levels decline

Scorching temperatures causing high water use, evaporation

July 24, 2023

AUSTIN, Texas – The Lower Colorado River Authority is urging water users throughout the lower Colorado River basin to incorporate additional water conservation efforts into their daily lives as the region’s dry conditions and triple-digit heat continue. “It’s been a while since we’ve had any rain, and these extreme 100-degree-plus days are taking a toll on all of us,” said John Hofmann, LCRA executive vice president of Water. “They also are taking a toll on our water supply lakes. With very little water flowing into the lakes and a ‘heat dome’ roasting our area since early June, lake levels are decreasing as significant amounts of water evaporate or are used on landscaping in the region. We all need to step up and do our part to conserve.” LCRA now is in Stage 1 of its drought contingency plan and has requested its firm customers, which are mostly municipalities, water districts and industries, reduce water use by 5%.  Two of the Highland Lakes – lakes Buchanan and Travis – are water supply reservoirs that provide water for more than 1.4 million Texans, businesses, industries and the environment. Combined storage in lakes Buchanan and Travis is now about 953,500 acre-feet, or about 49% of capacity. Combined storage is projected to fall below 900,000 acre-feet, or about 45% of capacity, by mid-August. When that happens, LCRA will move to Stage 2 of its drought contingency plan and will request that firm customers implement mandatory drought response measures, with a target of reducing water use by 10-20%. Each LCRA customer will decide how to implement the additional measures based on provisions in its own drought plan.   “Our water supply is stressed but still in OK shape,” Hofmann said. “It’s in our entire region’s interest to slow down water consumption because everything we do now will help prolong and protect our water supply. We are getting close to the next trigger in our drought contingency plan and customers soon will be implementing additional drought response measures. But no one should wait for restrictions to be put in place to stop wasting water.’’ In addition to requesting conservation from its firm customers, LCRA also cut off Highland Lakes water to the Gulf Coast, Lakeside and Pierce Ranch agricultural operations in Colorado, Wharton and Matagorda counties for the second growing season in 2022 and all of 2023. “We all have an important role to play in helping preserve our water supply,” Hofmann said. “Every one of us can and should make sure we use water wisely.’’ A key factor in summer water use is outdoor landscaping, which accounts for as much as 70% of water used at homes in the summer, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.    LCRA encourages everyone to follow their local water providers’ restrictions for outdoor watering. Even if no local restrictions are in place, LCRA recommends following these water-saving tips:

  • Water yards no more than twice a week, and only before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m. to reduce evaporation, if allowed by the local provider.
  • Use water-efficient landscaping and drought-tolerant plants.
  • Cover swimming pools when not in use.
  • Add mulch to landscapes and compost to turf to help prevent water loss.

Visit for more water-saving tips, tools and resources. For information about lake levels, visit the River Operations Report at

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Clara Tuma
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