42ºF

Edwards Aquifer drops below 660 feet for the first time since September 2018

Water restrictions could be around the corner

Since June 1st, the aquifer level has dropped significantly
Since June 1st, the aquifer level has dropped significantly (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

The level of the Edwards Aquifer, measured at the J-17 well, has dropped to 659.5 feet as of 10 a.m. Friday morning. This marks the first time the aquifer has slipped below 660 feet since September of 2018.

Once the aquifer drops below 660 feet for a 10-day rolling average, water restrictions are enacted. Should we not see any rainfall, this could happen before next weekend.

Both the Edwards Aquifer Authority and San Antonio Water System use the criteria to trigger pumping restrictions or water use. For those who are SAWS customers, this is what their website lists for Stage 1 restrictions:

Stage 1 restrictions begin when the 10-day rolling average of the Edwards Aquifer level drops to 660 feet mean sea level at the monitored well. Coming out of drought stages can be considered 15 days after the aquifer is above the trigger.

  • All residential fountains and indoor commercial fountains can operate at any stage of drought. Outdoor commercial fountains must have a SAWS variance in order to operate during drought stages 1 through 4.
  • Watering with an irrigation system, sprinkler or soaker hose is allowed only once a week before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on your designated watering day.
  • Water waste is prohibited at all times. Water waste includes allowing water to run off into a gutter, ditch, or drain; or failing to repair a controllable leak.
  • Watering days begin and end at midnight; overnight watering is not allowed.
  • You should reduce water consumption by any means available.
  • All non-public swimming pools must have a minimum of 25 percent of the surface area covered with evaporation screens when not in use. Inflatable pool toys or floating decorations may be used.
  • Watering with a hand-held hose, drip irrigation, bucket or watering can is permitted any time and any day.
  • Washing impervious cover such as parking lots, driveways, streets or sidewalks is prohibited. Health and safety exceptions to this rule may be requested from SAWS here.
  • Residential car washing is allowed during drought once per week on Saturday or Sunday as long as there is no water waste.
  • The use of SAWS-certified commercial car wash facilities is allowed any day.
  • Operators of golf courses, athletic fields, and parks must submit a conservation plan to SAWS. For submittal requirements, operators should contact SAWS Conservation Department at 210-704-SAVE. Golf courses, athletic fields, and parks may not irrigate between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Landscape areas on golf courses not directly “in play” are required to follow one-day-per-week watering based on address unless otherwise instructed by SAWS.

You will use your address to determine your irrigation day:

SAWS Stage 1 Restriction Watering Days
SAWS Stage 1 Restriction Watering Days

About the Authors: