Volumetric Surveys of the Highland Lakes - LCRA Volumetric Surveys of the Highland Lakes - LCRA


Volumetric Surveys of the Highland Lakes

As a best practice, LCRA periodically performs volumetric surveys of the Highland Lakes to provide updated information for water resources planning and flood operations. LCRA contracted with the Texas Water Development Board for the latest surveys of lakes Buchanan, LBJ, Marble Falls and Travis.

Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis

The TWDB Lake Buchanan volumetric survey published in 2020 determined the lake has a reservoir capacity of 880,356 acre-feet and encompasses 22,452 acres at its conservation pool elevation of 1,020 feet above mean sea level (feet msl). The previous survey completed in 2006 determined Lake Buchanan encompassed 22,017 acres. The 2020 survey defined the lake as having a slightly larger area than the 2006 survey, resulting in the conservation storage increasing.

The TWDB Lake Travis volumetric survey published in 2021 determined the lake has a reservoir capacity of 1,115,076 acre-feet and encompasses 19,044 acres at its conservation pool elevation of 681 feet msl. The previous survey completed in 2008 determined Lake Travis encompassed 19,297 acres. The 2021 volumetric survey determined the flood pool at Lake Travis is now 776,062 acre-feet.

Lake Buchanan
Storage at
1,020 feet msl
Lake Travis
Storage at
681 feet msl
Combined Storage
when Full
2020/2021 Survey Conservation Storage 880,356 1,115,076 1,995,432
2006/2008 Survey Conservation Storage ​875,588 ​1,134,956 2,010,544
​Percent Change in Storage ​+0.54% ​-1.75% -0.75%

Units in acre-feet.

LCRA began using the updated values for lakes Buchanan and Travis on May 27, 2021.

Lake LBJ and Lake Marble Falls

The TWDB Lake LBJ volumetric survey published in 2021 determined the lake has a reservoir capacity of 131,618 acre-feet and encompasses 6,432 acres at 825 feet msl, near the top of its normal operating range. The previous survey completed in 2007 determined Lake LBJ encompassed 6,275 acres.

The TWDB Lake Marble Falls volumetric survey published in 2021 determined the lake has a reservoir capacity of 7,597 acre-feet and encompasses 613 acres at 737 feet msl, near the top of its normal operating range. The previous survey completed in 2007 determined Lake Marble Falls encompassed 591 acres.

Lake LBJ
Storage at
825 feet msl
Lake Marble Falls
Storage at
737 feet msl
2021 Survey Conservation Storage 131,618 7,597
2007 Survey Conservation Storage ​133,216 ​7,186
​Percent Change in Storage ​​-1.2% ​+5.7%

Units in acre-feet.

LCRA began using the updated values for lakes LBJ and Marble Falls on Aug. 16, 2021.

TWDB advises that comparison of volumetric surveys to estimate changes in area and capacity due to sedimentation should be done with caution because of differences in past and present survey methodologies.