Sunday, July 30, 2006

The drought hasn't affected Lake LBJ, Inks Lake, Lake Marble Falls or Lake Austin

There is a lot of talk about the drought that we have been going through the past 18 months and how that affects the lake levels.

As you probably know, Lake LBJ, Inks Lake, Lake Marble Falls and Lake Austin are normally constant level lakes. LCRA does not like to have us say that they are "Constant Level" lakes because during a flood, the levels temporarily rise. LCRA allows us to call them "Normally Constant Level" lakes for that reason.

Because the four lakes mentioned above are normally constant level lakes, there is almost always good boating, waterskiing and jet skiing unless there is a flood, which is rare.

The normally constant level lakes are safer because a sand bar or other obstuction under the water is less likely to appear out of nowhere if the lake level is always the same.

Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis have a fluctuating level of water, depending on the recent rainfalls. They are currently down right now and some hazards while boating need to be watched very closely.

People who live on the normally constant level lakes can have permanent boat docks and bulkheads along the shore line. The owners of homes on the lakes that have a fluctuating level need to have floating boat docks that can rise and fall with the level of the lake.

Lake Travis home owners who are in low lying areas can also have a flooding problem. Several years ago a lot of homes flooded on Lake Travis when a storm dropped a lot more rain than expected up in the watershed. The flood gates were opened on Buchanan Dam and the other dams down the Colorado River chain of lakes. They could not release the water quickly enough to stop the flooding of some of the low lying homes around Lake Travis.

Lake Buchanan home owners have not had the flooding problem even though a lot of the homes are only a few feet above the water level on Lake Buchanan. Usually the only negative of the water fluctuating on Lake Buchanan is when the water level falls and their homes get farther from the water. A lot of the homes have sandy beaches and the beach just gets wider and wider as the water level drops.

We hope that soon this drought will be over and we will be back to normal. A good rain can fill up the Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis in a couple of days.

For more information on the Highland Lakes, go to this web page:


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