Water Management Plan for the Highland Lakes

LCRA manages lakes Travis and Buchanan under a state-approved Water Management Plan. The plan governs LCRA’s operation of the Highland Lakes to supply water to users throughout the lower Colorado River basin. Read more about LCRA’s current water supply operations.

During a drought, the plan requires that LCRA curtail or cut off interruptible stored water from the Highland Lakes so firm water supplies will continue to be available to meet the basic needs of cities, businesses and industries. The plan also requires LCRA to provide water from the lakes to help meet the environmental needs of the lower Colorado River and Matagorda Bay.

The plan establishes three sets of operating conditions to determine the availability of interruptible stored water, which is used by agricultural customers in Colorado, Wharton and Matagorda counties. It also sets two dates – March 1 and July 1 – for determining the amount of interruptible stored water available for first and second crops. Read the 2020 Water Management Plan fact sheet.

LCRA’s Water Management Plan is required by a 1988 court order that determined water rights for the Highland Lakes and lower Colorado River basin. The state approved the first Water Management Plan in 1989, and approved updates in 1991, 1992, 1999, 2010, 2015 and 2020. Read the Feb. 6, 2020, news release on the approval of the 2020 plan.

2020 Water Management Plan