WATER WOES WANE: Monday rainfall helps refill lakes Travis, Buchanan, LCRA says


The Lower Colorado River Authority said Wednesday that the round of heavy rain Central Texas received on Monday is helping to refill the area’s two reservoir lakes, Travis and Buchanan.

“The rains added about 35,700 acre-feet to the lakes,” the LCRA announced via Twitter. “Lake Travis is up 1.3 feet and Lake Buchanan has risen almost 8 inches.”

More than 3 inches fell over much of the region during a 24-hour window that started late Sunday, with a few places receiving as much as 7 inches.

By early Monday afternoon, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport had nearly tripled the Aug. 7 record of 1.06 inches.

So much rain fell that the Lower Colorado River Authority briefly opened floodgates in Llano and Burnet counties at Wirtz Dam on Lake LBJ and Starcke Dam on Lake Marble Falls to let excess water flow downstream. 

The heavy rainfall in Central Texas spilled into creeks and other tributaries, increasing the water inflow that feeds the lakes.

But the LCRA, which manages the Highland Lakes, also warned of certain dangers that come with the increased inflow.

“Use caution in deciding whether to swim or boat, especially on lakes LBJ and Marble Falls, which saw the heaviest inflows,” the agency said. “Bacteria levels and debris will increase in the Highland Lakes after Monday’s heavy rains.”

According to the LCRA, the water elevation at Lake Buchanan were 1,017 feet above mean sea level, or nearly a foot above its elevation a week ago.

The water elevation at Lake Travis is holding steady at 673 feet, which is 10 feet higher than the historical average elevation in August.

Lakes Buchanan and Travis, which are crucial sources for the region’s water supply, are a combined 91 percent full, LCRA data show.


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