New Braunfels Utilities customers in Stage 3 water restrictions on Tuesday

Drought is putting Comal Springs flow at risk

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – Starting Tuesday, New Braunfels Utility customers will only be allowed to water one day, every other week as Stage 3 watering restrictions go into effect.

The utility company said the new restrictions are necessary because the drought is putting spring flow at risk which could threaten endangered species.

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“At the current rate of decline without any rain, portions of the Comal Springs could stop flowing within two to three weeks as they did in 2014,” NBU said in a press release.

During extreme drought, the Comal and San Marcos Springs supply more than 75% of the water in the Guadalupe River for downstream communities like Victoria, the utility said. Downstream bays and estuaries also depend on the Guadalupe River.

NBU has not enforced Stage 3 watering restrictions since 2015. Stage 3 means NBU customers will be permitted to water one day a week, every other week based on their address.

  • Addresses ending 0 or 1: Monday
  • Addresses ending 2 or 3: Tuesday
  • Addresses ending 4 or 5: Wednesday
  • Addresses ending 6 or 7: Thursday
  • Addresses ending 8 or 9: Friday

Watering by use of a hand-held bucket, soaker hose, or drip irrigation system is allowed any day before 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m.

Stage 3 restrictions prohibit the use of fountains and waterfalls and new landscape installation requires a variance request.

When the Edwards Aquifer Authority announced its J-17 Well had dropped below the Stage 3 trigger of 640 feet last week, NBU said they would delay the increased restrictions.

“NBU has more than enough water to cover the curtailments and the Mayor has decided not to declare Stage 3 water use reduction measures at this time,” NBU said in a press release on June 6.

A week later, NBU said the severity of drought conditions and concern over spring flow prompted the declaration.

“New Braunfels has been faced with severe drought situations over the years. Our community has always taken the appropriate conservation steps to prevent the Comal Springs from going dry,” New Braunfels Mayor Rusty Brockman said in NBU’s press release. ”It takes all of us to make a difference. Your cooperation in conserving to protect our Comal Springs is appreciated during these hot and dry days.”

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Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.