Your Water Supply: Drought Areas and Lake Levels

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Take Care of Texas
Map of Texas showing drought levels

In a water-starved state like Texas, it’s a good idea to know your drought level and—if you get your water from a surface lake—your local lake level. Awareness of how full or empty your water source is can be an inspiration for reducing your daily water usage.  

Drought 

Many parts of Texas are often in a state of drought. This map from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the state. It uses a five-category, color-coded system to illustrate a drought’s intensity. It ranges from “abnormally dry” in bright yellow to “exceptional drought” in brown. You can also click on individual counties for more localized information. 

Where Does Your Water Come From? 

If your drinking water comes from a lake, reservoir, or any kind of surface water, it’s always helpful to understand just how much or how little water remains in your lake. Not sure where your water comes from? We’ve compiled a list of many of the larger lakes that supply drinking water to Texans. You can also find statewide water data from the Texas Water Development Board. 

  • If you live in Austin or the surrounding area, you likely get your water from Lake Travis or Lake Buchanan. However, rain must fall in just the right area for it to fill up the lakes effectively. Despite the rains we received in the spring and early summer, Lake Travis was still only around 77% full as of August 2021. 

  • The Lower Colorado River Authority, the body that operates the Colorado River and Highland Lake system, also provides a daily update on all the Highland Lakes as well as an overall percentage of how full they are. 

We can all do our part to conserve water. Get started with the Texas Trickle! Remember, every drop counts, especially when water is restricted due to drought conditions. 

Lake Ray Roberts
Lake Ray Roberts

 

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