Stage 1 drought restrictions, effective immediately, announced for SA

Edwards Aquifer level triggers EAA-required cutbacks, watering rules

By David Ibanez - Web - Managing Editor

SAN ANTONIO - Stage 1 water restrictions were announced Monday for the city of San Antonio, effective immediately, officials said.

Despite recent rain, the 10-day average at San Antonio's J-17 monitoring well dropped to 658.5 feet, requiring the restrictions, San Antonio Water System officials said in a news release. 

"Despite the cooler weather and rain we've received this year, the region's water use has driven aquifer levels to drop," SAWS President and CEO Robert Puente said. "We have an ample supply of water from the Edwards and several other sources, but state law requires us to cut back on pumping when the Edwards Aquifer reaches certain levels."

Stage 1 of the city's drought plan is triggered when the 10-day average of the Edwards Aquifer at the J-17 monitoring well drops to 660 feet or below. According to the city's Aquifer Management Plan ordinance, coming out of drought stages can be considered 15 days after the aquifer is above the trigger.

During Stage 1, outdoor watering with a sprinkler or irrigation system is allowed only before 11 a.m. and after 7 p.m. one day per week, based on the last number of the residence or business address:

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

Watering days begin and end at midnight; overnight watering is not allowed. 

Water waste, such as water running down the street, is prohibited year-round. 

Watering with a handheld hose is still allowed any day, any time.

SAWS offers its water customers $100 or $200 coupons to replace water-intensive grass with drought-tolerant garden beds or permeable patios. 

Coupons are available through May 31, so customers should act quickly to take advantage of the online offer.

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