Lake Travis may drop to lowest level in LCRA history


by KRIS BETTS / KVUE News and photojournalist CHRIS SHADROCK

Posted on June 29, 2013 at 1:19 PM

AUSTIN, Texas -- Every month, Lakes Travis and Buchanan lose enough water to fill 20,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Without rain to replenish the lakes, storage levels just keep dropping.

“We've been on a gradual fall this entire spring and summer,” says Ryan Rowney with the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA).

Right now, the lakes have combined water storage of 725,000 acre feet.

By July, it will likely drop to 700,000 acre feet and by September the LCRA says there is a chance it could drop below 600,000 acre feet.

That would make the combined storage of those two lakes the lowest they've ever been in LCRA history.

“It's a small chance, but it is an opportunity that could happen,” said Rowney.

If the lakes drop below 600,000 it would trigger Stage 3 drought restrictions in Austin, which means homeowners can water once a week for six hours.

Currently, Austin has Stage 2 water restrictions so people can water lawns once per week between 10 to 15 hours.

The LCRA tells KVUE this drought is not as bad as the one the state experienced in the 1950s yet.

They also say there is enough water to sustain current needs for the next several years.