As the level of Lake Travis falls within five inches of the lowest levels in half a century, the ongoing drought could force some central Texans to change their Fourth of July plans.
‘I love fireworks,’ Steiner Ranch resident Pat Hansen said. ‘I absolutely love fireworks.’
Many residents cannot wait for the visual spectacle that is the Fourth of July.
‘We have come out to the lake area and seen them on previous years,’ Hansen said. ‘Out over the water is even more special.’
Assistant manager of Iguana Grill Chris Vanderslice says that his patio has the best fireworks view around.
‘From here, usually, you can see [both fireworks displays] perfectly,’ Vanderslice said. ‘And they’re almost going off simultaneously.’
But continued dry conditions are forcing the City of Lakeway to cancel their Independence Day fireworks show.
And with fewer fireworks in the skies over Lake Travis this Fourth of July, local businesses are having to resort to other attractions to keep the crowds coming.
‘We’re going to have our staff here; we’re going to have a great band here,’ Vanderslice said. ‘The fourth of July for us is always a spectacle. It’s always one of our busiest times of the year.’
As for Pat and her family, this Independence Day drought is forcing a change of plans.
‘We can’t see a big fireworks show on the Fourth unfortunately,’ Hansen said. ‘It’s not the same.’
Aside from evaporation from hot sunshine, levels of the Highland Lakes continue to slowly decline due to insufficient rainfall and mandated releases by the Lower Colorado River Authority .
The LCRA is currently releasing water from the Highland Lakes for the following reasons:
- To provide drinking water for municipal use
- To supply businesses that have water contracts with LCRA
- Environmental releases to help maintain the ‘health of the river’ downstream