The ten-day rolling average of the level of the Edwards Aquifer, measured at the J-17 well, has dropped below 660 feet as of Thursday morning. Aquifer levels have not been this low since September of 2018. Utilities who utilize the aquifer use the criteria to trigger restrictions on water use. Stage 1 restrictions will go into effect on Friday for SAWS customers.
“The main thing Stage 1 means for people is that they have a designated watering day that they can use when they do spray irrigation,” said Karen Guz, Director of Water conservation at SAWS. “If you have an automatic irrigation system or a hose end one that you put down, you’ll want to know what your day is and be aware of the times.”
Meantime, the Edwards Aquifer Authority declared Stage 1 pumping restrictions.
Stage 1 of the EAA drought plan requires Edwards groundwater permit holders in Atascosa, Bexar, Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, and Medina counties to reduce their annual authorized pumping amount by 20 percent. The purpose of mandatory pumping reductions is to stabilize water levels and springflow until rainfall replenishes the aquifer. These restrictions apply to all Edwards Aquifer groundwater permit holders authorized to pump more than three acre-feet annually.
New Braunfels Utilities will also enact Stage 1 restrictions starting Monday, July 13th.
“Drought stages can serve as a reminder of the importance of water supply, and the need for each of us to ensure we are good stewards of this most precious natural resource,” said Chief Communications and Strategy Officer of NBU, Melissa C. Krause.
Like SAWS customers, those who use New Braunfels Utilities will be assigned a watering day based on their home address.