Lakes Buchanan and Travis are the two water storage lakes in the Highland Lakes system, and supply water for more than 1 million people. LCRA relies on the natural flow of the Colorado River and water from the Highland Lakes to meet demands, consistent with all applicable water rights, regulations, and legal agreements including the 2010 Water Management Plan.
Releases from Lake Buchanan will be made as needed through Buchanan, Inks, Wirtz and Starcke dams to replace a portion of the water taken by cities, power plants, evaporation and other uses along lakes Inks, LBJ and Marble Falls, and to replace a portion of the water that is released from Lake Travis.
Releases from Lake Travis will be made as needed to supply water to customers along Lake Austin, such as the City of Austin and the West Travis County Public Utility Agency, and to replace water that is released or evaporated from Lake Austin.
Releases from Lake Austin will be made as needed to supplement the natural flow of the Colorado River below Lake Austin in supplying water for customers downstream of the Highland Lakes and to replace water that is evaporated from Lady Bird Lake or lost in conveyance along the lower river.
In addition to passing through releases from upstream dams, water may be released from lakes Inks, LBJ, Marble Falls and Austin through Inks, Wirtz, Starcke, and Tom Miller dams, respectively, to pass through runoff from localized storms and inflows from tributary creeks and streams, as needed, to control the level of these lakes.