Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance

​​The Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance (HLWO) protects water quality throughout the Highland Lakes region. LCRA actively manages stormwater runoff around the Highland Lakes and the lower Colorado River to contain the pollution found in stormwater runoff, such as pesticides, soil, nutrients and other contaminants from everyday life.

To reduce the impact of stormwater pollution, the ordinance requires development within the area to protect water quality and reduce creek erosion by providing:

  • Approved water quality management facilities (vegetated filter strips and/or water quality basins) to collect stormwater runoff.
  • Buffer zones that remain free of development. Read the Property Owner’s Guide to Buffer Zones.
  • Temporary erosion and sediment controls.
  • Permanent systems to minimize sediment migration from the site.

LCRA encourages the use of native and adapted plants and discourages the use of chemicals on landscapes, which may have a negative impact on water quality.

New quarries and mines are covered under the HLWO and must implement measures similar to other development. Read the fact sheet.

Dredge and fill activities standards also are included in the ordinance. Typical activities that fall under this portion of the ordinance include:

  • Shoreline stabilization.
  • Retaining walls.
  • Removal of sediment from lakebeds.

Small projects may be authorized without a permit by submitting a written notification and erosion/sediment control plan.

Submit questions, comments or complaints through Contact LCRA

Read more information on the complaint process for this program.

Ordinance Documents

Erosion and Sediment Control Guidance




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