Preserve Today, Protect Tomorrow

Join CTWC to help ensure we have a sustainable water supply for Central Texas

Who is the Central Texas Water Coalition?

And what are we aiming to accomplish?

Formed in 2011, we have more than 5,000 members who care about the local water supply, including local citizens, businesses, municipalities, county reps, and water-supply corporations. We believe that these seven lakes are an irreplaceable economic engine for Texas, and the CTWC advocates for the following:

Change How Water is Managed in Central Texas

Work for a more protective Water Management Plan. We must bring risk management into water management, and ensure we have a sustainable water future.

Incorporate New Hydrology Data

Inflows are at historic lows. We must incorporate the current data to understand what water we have today and ensure we have water for tomorrow.

The actions we take today will ensure a secure water future and will have a ripple effect for generations to come in Texas. Join us to make a difference.

Central Texas has a water supply problem

2.5 million people rely on the 6 Highland Lakes for drinking water, washing dishes, showering, and more.

All the lakes are dangerously low. The water level of Lake Travis is at a mere 38%.

(updated 5-7-2024)

Weather experts calculate that the most severe droughts are still to come.

How can YOU learn more?

Take a few minutes here, then share what you learn!

Our community can be very underinformed on the water crisis facing Central Texas and the seven Highland Lakes. You can make a big difference by educating yourself on some important facts, and sharing them with your friends and neighbors. Read the short articles below or watch the video.

Questions that keep us up at night

Where does our water go?
  • Municipal demand, i.e. fastest growing communities in nation
  • Growing business demand, i.e. new Tesla and Samsung plants
  • Agriculture, primarily rice, which requires a lot of water
  • Environmental flows in Colorado River and releases for inflows to Matagorda Bay
  • Evaporation (higher temperatures increase evaporation)
How is our water managed?
  • LCRA manages our water through a water Management Plan that is updated every 5-7 years.
  • LCRA decides how much water they can sell (contract) via water availability modeling to zero inventory, based on last drought of record.
Do we have a real Water Supply problem?
  • The short answer is yes. Demands on the water are rapidly increasing from growth in population and new businesses coming to the area and to Texas.
  • Water supply is falling from several major factors (rainfall patterns are moving east our of our watershed; thousands of ponds have been built in watershed that are capturing and holding up inflows that used to flow into our reservoir lakes; higher temperatures are increasing evaporation; many new groundwater wells are being drilled in our watershed
Is the current path sustainable?
  • No, it’s not. We need changes in water policy and changes in the State Water Codes and NEW Water Supplies.
  • We have less water flowing into our basin. We need much stronger conservation measures.
  • We must make tough choices  on how we use our water supply.
Do we need a flood-like event to recover?
  •  YES! Regular and normal rainfall is no longer capable of refilling our lakes. We need a flood-like event in the right places up in our watershed to provide sufficient inflows to refill our reservoir lakes. Our water management policies need to change to extend our water supply long enough to reach the next flood.

Low Lakes, High Stakes

How bad is our current drought? A full lake is 100%.

Data below is updated as of May 22, 2024.

Lake Buchanan0%
Lake Travis0%

(click for popup)

(click for popup)

Fast Facts about the Highland Lakes

  • How were the lakes created?
  • What are "inflows"?
  • Which lakes generate hydroelectric power?
  • What is the "drought of record"?
  • Who is the LCRA, and what does it do?
  • How many counties and miles do the lakes span?
  • What is an "acre-foot of water"?
  • What is my region's drought contingency plan?