Less than two months after the City of San Antonio and San Antonio Water System (SAWS) lifted Stage 2 drought restrictions on June 10, Stage 1 rules will return this Friday. That means SAWS customers must return to watering their lawns once a week and only on their designated days – divvied up by address numbers.
Heavy rains earlier this year recharged the Edwards Aquifer enough to bring its 10-day water level average above the 660-foot threshold to enter less restrictive year-round rules, but not enough to last through the summer. The drought restrictions come as no surprise to SAWS and many customers, as they’ve had some sort of water use restriction enforced since 2011.
On Thursday the 10-day average dropped to 659.5 feet, down from 660.8 feet on Wednesday.
“While the rain we received earlier this year greatly improved aquifer levels, it wasn’t enough to completely remove the prospect of drought restrictions,” stated Robert R. Puente, SAWS president and CEO in a news release. “We have an ample supply of water from the Edwards and six other sources, but state law requires us to cut back on pumping when the Edwards Aquifer reaches certain levels.”
The brief return of year-round restrictions sparked city leaders and the community to ask if the City should instead impose Stage 1 or even Stage 2 restrictions year-round.
Here’s a breakdown of the Stage 1 rules from SAWS:
“Under 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, as determined by the last number of your street 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. However, watering with a handheld hose is still allowed any day, any time.”
*Featured/top image: Water sprinkler. Photo courtesy of Flickr user Shaylor.