Stage 2 water restrictions now in effect for SAWS customers

10-day rolling average dips below 650′ at the J-17 well, initiating a new round of restrictions

The aquifer has been on a steadily decline, with the 10-day average falling below 650 feet. (Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

It’s been a rough start to 2022 when it comes to rainfall. Despite a small amount of rain Sunday night, the Edwards Aquifer, measured at the J-17 well, took another dip. The 10-day rolling average fell below 650′, which has prompted Stage 2 water restrictions. What does that mean?

  • Once-a-week irrigation watering on your assigned day (determined by the last number in your home address).
Your assigned watering day is based on the last number of your address (Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)
  • The time you can water with an irrigation system is now more restrictive: Between 7-11 a.m. and 7-11 p.m. (versus anytime after 7 p.m. and before 11 a.m. during Stage 1).
  • As always, hand watering is allowed any day, any time.

Even with once-a-week watering, SAWS reminds customers that bills will be going up, compared to what they saw over the winter.

“We do ask people to keep in mind that if they are running their irrigation system, even if it’s just once a week, there’s a good chance that they will either double or possibly even triple their water bill; depending on the amount of water that they use,” said Anne Hayden, spokesperson for SAWS.

Stage 2 water restrictions this early in the year is concerning, with a drier-than-average spring and summer predicted. Stage 3 water restrictions, which can be considered once the aquifer drops below 640′, have never been utilized by the City of San Antonio and SAWS. Stage 3 would require irrigation watering every other week.

The last time the Edwards Aquifer dropped below 650′ was briefly in April of last year. Before that, the last time was in 2018. The lowest aquifer level we’ve seen over the last 10 years occurred in August of 2014 when the aquifer dropped below 630′. That occurred during the drought years of 2011-2015.


About the Authors:

Justin Horne is a meteorologist and reporter for KSAT 12 News. When severe weather rolls through, Justin will hop in the KSAT 12 Storm Chaser to safely bring you the latest weather conditions from across South Texas. On top of delivering an accurate forecast, Justin often reports on one of his favorite topics: Texas history.

Kolten Parker is digital executive producer at KSAT. Previously, he worked at the San Antonio Express-News and the Texas Observer.