Timetable for LCRA lake drawdowns extended due to rain

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Lake Marble Falls is currently about 3 feet below its normal operating range as seen by the watermark on the retaining wall at the Lakeside Park boat ramp. The Lower Colorado River Authority has paused the lowering of lakes LBJ and Marble Falls due to recent rains. Lake Marble Falls is expected to reach its lowered level of 7 feet below normal by Jan. 12. Lake LBJ will reach its lowered level by Jan. 9, according to the LCRA. Staff photo by Jared Fields

Lake Marble Falls is currently about 3 feet below its normal operating range as seen by the watermark on the retaining wall at the Lakeside Park boat ramp. The Lower Colorado River Authority has paused the lowering of lakes LBJ and Marble Falls due to recent rains. Lake Marble Falls is expected to reach its lowered level of 7 feet below normal by Jan. 12. Lake LBJ will reach its lowered level by Jan. 9, according to the LCRA. Staff photo by Jared Fields

The Lower Colorado River Authority extended lake lowerings by five days after recent rains prompted the partial opening of a floodgate on Tom Miller Dam.

The LCRA began the drawdown of lakes LBJ and Marble Falls on Dec. 30 but paused it Jan. 2. Originally, the LCRA estimated lakes LBJ and Marble Falls to reach their lowered level by Jan. 6 and 9, respectively.

As of Jan. 4, the LCRA expected Lake LBJ to reach its lowered level by Jan. 9 and Lake Marble Falls on Jan. 12. Those dates could change if the area receives additional rain, according to the LCRA.

The pause also has affected the refill dates. The LCRA originally expected to begin refilling the lakes on Feb. 19. Now, the refill is scheduled to begin Feb. 24 and conclude Feb. 28.

Lake LBJ is about 2 feet below its normal operating range at the moment and, during the lake drawdowns, will be 4 feet lower than normal.

Lake Marble Falls is about 3 feet below its normal operating range and, when fully lowered, will be about 7 feet lower.

The water released from both lakes is about 26,000 acre-feet of water, which will raise the level of Lake Travis about 1.3 feet.

The lakes are being lowered so landowners can perform maintenance and repairs to lakeside property. Property owners recovering from the October flood also will be able to more easily remove debris, dredge, and work on other infrastructure during the drawdowns.

Full lake lowering information, including permitting requirements, are available on the LCRA’s Lake Lowerings website.

jared@thepicayune.com

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