Pictures of Comal Springs in Landa Park in New Braunfels spread across Twitter this past weekend.
One of the most visible sources for the Comal River looked more like a cave than a flowing spring, having gone dry.
"It's getting serious to say the least," said Steve Ramsey, director of Public Works for New Braunfels. "I know (during) the 1950s drought, the spring ceased to flow, in the mid-'80s, there was another situation where the springs didn't dry up completely."
New Braunfels officially entered Stage 3 water restrictions Monday, but notices were sent out as early as July 29, when New Braunfels Utilities made its original declaration after the J-17 well reading dropped below 640 feet.
"We look at enacting conservation measures on a timely basis because just assuming that there might be water or rain coming that will help replenish the aquifer or our reservoirs in the area, we can't. We can't live on that assumption," said Gretchen Reuwer, communications manager for NBU. "By enacting those measures in a timely matter we can extend our water supply to continue to meet essential services. We have plenty of water on hand for our annual allotment and that's because we've been following our conservation guidelines and our drought management plan."
Looking at the Comal River this summer, it hasn't been easy to notice many effects of the drought. The dry Comal Springs is just a fraction of the river's water source.
"There are hundreds of springs that feed the Comal River," said Ramsey. "Springs that bubble up and come up from the lake itself and seep in from the sides of the channel."
"The Comal river is fed by a number of springs so the river continues to flow and tubing business continues to remain in place," added Reuwer.
Under Stage 3 restrictions, sprinklers or irrigation systems are only allowed every other week with neither system allowed for the week of August 19-25.
After that, watering days are based on the last digit of home addresses. 0 or 1 on Monday, 2 or 3 on Tuesday, 4 or 5 on Wednesday, 6 or 7 on Thursday and 8 or 9 on Friday.
Watering with a hand held hose, bucket drip irrigation system or soaker hose is allowed any day of the week.
All watering must take place before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. For more information you can call the NBU information line at 830-608-8925.