Peek at Our Technical Library

A quick glance shows how much of an impact we make

Want to take a deeper dive? Our Technical Library includes more information on the issues, reports, and work CTWC has amassed on behalf of water conservation and smart water planning for Central Texas and the Highland Lakes.

The economic impact of water scarcity

Report: Upper Highland Lakes Economic Impact

Report: Lake Travis Economic Impact

Some of the organizations involved in the governing process include:

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) strives to protect our state’s public health and natural resources consistent with sustainable economic development. Their goal is clean air, clean water, and the safe management of waste.

Lower Colorado River Authority

The Lower Colorado River Authority’s (LCRA) mission is to enhance the quality of life of the Texans they serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. They provide public power, manage the lower Colorado River and build and operate transmission lines across the state and more. LCRA manages the Highland Lakes under a Water Management Plan (WMP) that must be approved by TCEQ.

Texas Water Development Board

The Texas Water Development Board’s (TWDB) mission is to provide leadership, information, education, and support for planning, financial assistance, and outreach for the conservation and responsible development of water for Texas.

Region K Water Planning Group

The Region K Water Planning Group was established by the TWDB to help develop and revise the long-range water plan for the Central Texas region which will be included in the State Water Plan that will meet the region’s water needs over the next 50 years.

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.

Check out the lake levels