Stage 3: Additional Watering Restrictions Now in Effect

Due to continually decreasing levels in Lake Travis, in accordance with the LMUD Drought Contingency Plan, current conditions warrant LMUD Stage 3 Watering Restrictions.

Increased Watering Restrictions

LMUD customer compliance with Stage 3 restrictions include:

  • the continuation of one-day per week irrigation using a hose-end sprinkler or in-ground irrigation system (restriction does not apply to watering with a hand-held hose). Hours are limited to between midnight and 10 a.m. and/or 7 p.m. and midnight (when evaporation is minimized) on a designated day. The schedule can be found on the here.
  • no new pools may be installed. Replenishing existing pool water levels to maintenance level is permitted.
  • pressure washing is prohibited.
  • vehicle washing is limited to commercial car wash facilities or commercial service stations (required to recycle their water).
  • events involving the use of water such as: car washes, festivals, parties, water slides, and other activities involving the use of water are prohibited.

Every water utility issues different restrictions that impact their service area only. But, LCRA requires all of its firm water customers (all water utilities who use the Highland Lakes as their raw water source, such as Lakeway MUD) to implement additional drought response measures when the combined storage of Lakes Travis and Buchanan reaches 900,000 acre-feet (45 percent full). According to the LCRA River Operations Report, this trigger level was reached on August 15, 2023. The additional restrictions put in place require all of the LCRA firm water customers to reduce use by 10 to 20 percent. These restrictions require compliance from the impacted residents (that’s you!) in order to meet this usage reduction.

Drought Rates In Effect

As was announced to our customers in April, at the April 12, 2023 LMUD Board of Directors meeting, the Board approved a motion to add a Drought Rate fee structure to the LMUD Rate Order in the event Stage 3 restrictions are enacted. Stage 3 one-day per week irrigation restrictions began on September 1, 2022 (approved at the the August 10, 2022 LMUD Board of Directors meeting), with full Stage 3 restrictions enacted on August 15, 2023 per the LMUD Drought Contingency Plan trigger lake levels. Drought surcharges are intended to reduce demand immediately as a precautionary or emergency response to a temporary and severe limitation in water supplies. Customers can expect increased rates for top-3 tier water users (using above 30,000 gallons per bill cycle/every two months). LMUD customers using over 30,000 gallons in one bill cycle (2 months) will see an increase of $1 per 1,000 gallons; customers using over 50,000 gallons will see an increase of $2 per 1,000 gallons; customers using over 80,000 gallons will see an increase of $3 per 1,000 gallons; and customers using over 100,000 gallons per bill cycle will see an increase of $4 per 1,000 gallons. Customers using below 30,000 gallons (approx. 70 percent of our customer base) will see no rate increase. Impacted bills will begin with bills sent out on October 1, 2023. LMUD Customer Rates can be found here.

Tips for Conserving Water

According to the Texas Water Development Board, on average, Texas residents use up to 67 percent of their water consumption for outdoor purposes which is why we focus so much of our watering restrictions on outdoor use.  If one-day per week irrigation doesn’t sit well with you, know that industry experts promote that the most efficient way to water your lawn is slow, infrequent, prolonged watering cycles for deeper penetration and root growth. But, automatic irrigation systems with a programmable controller are a common culprit for overwatering: power outages, storms, battery failures, etc. can cause the schedule to be automatically wiped out or reset to a factory standard, potentially watering several hours every day (we’ve seen it happen!). For water saving tips and to get a better handle on your household’s water use:

  • LCRA offers LMUD customers rebates to help offset the cost of upgrading or evaluating the efficiency of existing irrigation systems, maintaining landscapes and pools, and testing your soil. For more information, visit
  • Adjust your irrigation based on the needs of your lawn and for precipitation. LMUD customers can utilize the WaterMyYard program which sends customized weekly watering advice for your specific lawn and irrigation system based on local weather data. For more information, visit
  • LMUD customers can also utilize the new WaterSmart portal which provides registered users the ability to track their hourly and daily water usage, self-identify and resolve leaks, understand where their water is being used, compare their water use to similar households, and set water use alerts. For more information, visit
  • Exotic turf grasses such as Bermuda, Zoysia, or St. Augustine require a lot of maintenance (and a lot of water). Why not, instead, choose landscaping options built for our climate. Native plants have adapted to our ever-changing temperatures and supply of water. Use the Native Plant Society of Texas database to find which native plants are best suited for Lakeway’s ecosystem (Edwards Plateau):

Long-Range Forecasts

According to LCRA’s meteorologist Bob Rose’s blog, “All of Texas is being influenced by a stubborn heat dome covering the southern U.S. and northern Mexico.” While conditions remain dry, Lake Travis Fire Rescue continues to warn of the increased risk of wildfire danger. They offer free Wildfire Home Risk Assessments and promote the Ready Set Go Program that explains the role individuals should play in preparedness and early evacuation. You can also sign up for the City of Lakeway’s local emergency alerts through their Voyant Alert! system.

Future forecasts, according to the Climate Prediction Center, predict cooler and wetter conditions to arrive late fall/early winter thanks to the El Nino weather pattern that started to develop in June. However, while additional rain will be beneficial for the drought and our lake levels, the National Weather Service for Austin and San Antonio mention this additional heavy rainfall over a very dry ground could bring a higher risk for flash flooding later in the year. If/when this occurs, we will all be having a very different conversation. Preparing for all types of extreme weather is fundamental to living in Central Texas and throughout it all, water conservation remains a priority.

Thank you for your cooperation in making every effort to limit your discretionary water use!

LMUD Customer Service Team

LMUD Lakeway Municipal Utility District
1097 Lohmans Crossing
Lakeway, TX 78734
Main Office: 512/261-6222