Skip to main content


Buy Article:

$9.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Or sign up for a free trial

The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) provides water services to all or a portion of 33 counties within the state of Texas, including the metropolitan area of Austin, TX. The agency is also charged with protecting water quality in the lower Colorado River basin. The Austin metropolitan area is currently undergoing rapid population growth with concomitant changes to the local land use and watershed characteristics. These changes prompted LCRA to enact a nonpoint source ordinance in watershed areas upstream of Austin. This ordinance supplements a discharge ban enacted by the state regulatory agency, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. To better understand the effectiveness of these regulations and to forecast future water quality conditions throughout the entire system, LCRA has designed a master plan for developing modeling and analysis tools to be used as part of a watershed management program.

This program, called the Colorado River Environmental Models program (CREMS) will consist of an integrated tool-kit of models, databases, and graphical user interfaces to assist with a broad range of management decisions. The objective of the CREMS program is to develop and apply these tools to more effectively and efficiently manage existing resources and proactively safeguard the system from environmental degradation. This presentation covers the first two phases of the CREMS program: 1) the design of the CREMS master plan, and 2) the development of the first tool, the Phase 1 Lake Travis watershed and reservoir model.

The CREMS master plan was developed to provide a blueprint for implementing the future components of the CREMS system. It includes the following key features:

input from all of LCRA business units to identify needs and establish priorities;

inventory of existing data;

inventory of existing analysis methods and models;

identification of potential modeling tools; and

development of work packages for each priority area of the system.

Based on input from each LCRA business unit and other stakeholders, the master plan identified five priority areas for incorporation into CREMS:

two reservoirs upstream of Austin: Lakes LBJ and Travis;

the watersheds areas and stream segments associated with these reservoirs; and

Matagorda Bay.

Following completion of the master plan, the first phase of the program was initiated. This phase consisted of a relatively simple linked watershed-water quality model of Lake Travis. Lake Travis is a large (approximately 60 mi. long), run-of-the-river reservoir on the Colorado River that is highly prized for its water quality and clarity. The primary goal of this component of the master plan was to provide a quantitative link between nutrient loadings and eutrophication in the lake. The model is built on 18 years of water quality data and is fully accessible through an HTML-based interface to allow for multiple end-users. Using this tool, a variety of scenarios were evaluated, including:

various future land use patterns;

changes to the existing nonpoint source ordinance; and

changes to the existing point source discharge ban.

These efforts have improved our understanding of eutrophication in this system and have focused our efforts to collect additional data and build a more comprehensive model in the future. This effort will also contribute to a similar model of Lake LBJ and its watershed, further enhancing the capabilities of the CREMS toolbox and the ability of LCRA to manage their water resources.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation includes access to most papers presented at the annual WEF Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) and other conferences held since 2000. Subscription access begins 12 months after the event and is valid for 12 months from month of purchase. A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is included in Water Environment Federation (WEF) membership.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access. Access begins 12 months after the conference or event
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Learn about the many other WEF member benefits and join today
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more