The Highland Lakes on the Colorado River were created to help manage floods and capture water when it rains to ensure the region has a reliable water supply during dry times. Lakes Buchanan and Travis – the region's water supply reservoirs – provide water for more than a million users, including communities, industries, businesses, agriculture and the environment in the lower Colorado River basin. Together, lakes Buchanan and Travis can hold about 2 million acre-feet of water. It's important to note that none of the Highland Lakes are constant-level lakes.
Inflows and lake level projections
In March, rainfall was 1-2 inches below normal across the Highland Lakes watershed. Inflows into the lakes in March totaled 59,947 acre-feet – about 68 percent of the historic monthly average – marking the second consecutive month of below-average inflows. This drier period follows several months of above-average rainfall in late 2018 and January 2019. Inflows are the amount of water flowing into the lakes estimated from measurements at four gauges upstream. (An acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.)
LCRA projections for Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan show lake levels remaining above normal through spring, even under dry conditions.