The season for irrigation releases ended the week of Oct. 6. The last release for irrigation was made from Lake Austin on Sept. 17, before heavy rains fell over Travis County and other portions of the lower basin on the night of Sept. 18-19.
Releases from Lake Austin will continue to be made as needed to supplement the natural flow of the lower river. Releases may be needed to meet customer needs, replace water that evaporated from Lady Bird Lake and along the lower river, and for environmental flow requirements. Releases are made consistent with all applicable water rights and agreements.
Customers taking water from the Colorado River downstream of Lake Austin include Fayette Power Project, industrial customers in Matagorda County, the City of Pflugerville, Decker Creek Power Station, Lost Pines Power Park and others. Environmental flow requirements include TCEQ requirements to maintain instream flows along the lower Colorado River and supply freshwater inflows to Matagorda Bay and estuary.
Releases from Lake Travis will be made as needed to supply water to customers along Lake Austin, and to replace water that is released or has evaporated from Lake Austin. Customers taking water from Lake Austin include the City of Austin, West Travis County Public Utility Agency and others.
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 taken or released from Lake Travis. Customers taking water from the Highland Lakes above Mansfield Dam include the City of Cedar Park, Travis County WCID No. 17, the City of Leander, Lakeway MUD, Ferguson Power Plant and others.
In addition to passing through releases from upstream dams, water may be released from lakes Inks, LBJ, Marble Falls and Austin to pass through runoff from localized storms and control the level of these lakes.