The San Antonio region is prone to long periods of drought. As the population continues to grow, so does the strain on the Edwards Aquifer, the main source of water for all of Central Texas. This aquifer stretches over 8,000 square miles and supplies drinking water to more than 1.6 million people. The San Antonio Water System uses drought restrictions to protect the clean water supply for the region and ensure there is always enough drinking water to serve the ever-growing population.
Why are Water Restrictions Important?
Fresh drinking water is a limited and precious resource in Texas. The truth is most people use water like there is an unlimited supply, but this is not the case. The average American uses 70 gallons of water every day, with about 9 gallons a day caused by leaks in hoses, faucets, and toilets.
There are three very important reasons for everyone to work together to conserve water:
- The less water used, the less clean water is contaminated.
- Water conservation helps households save money and energy.
- Water conservation helps San Antonio plan for more efficient water use in the future.
Edwards Aquifer Water Restriction Levels
Water restrictions in San Antonio are based on the levels of the Edwards Aquifer. The city has five specific water restrictions, all based on specific aquifer levels.
- Year-round restrictions. These restrictions remain in effect when the Edwards Aquifer level is higher than 660 feet.
- Stage 1 restrictions. These restrictions begin when the aquifer level reaches 660 feet.
- Stage 2 restrictions begin when the aquifer level reaches 650 feet. Watering with a sprinkler or irrigation system is restricted to once a week between 7-11 am and 7-11 pm.
- Stage 3 restrictions begin when the aquifer falls below 650 feet. Landscaping watering is allowed only every other week between 7-11 am and 7-11 pm.
- Stage 4 restrictions are put in place at the discretion of the city manager after a 30-day monitoring period when stage 3 restrictions are instituted.
Summer 2015 Water Restrictions
Strong rains in May have returned San Antonio to year-round water conservation, although residents are still encouraged to conserve water by limiting outdoor water use.
With year-round water conservation rules in place, residents can water with a hose sprinkler or irrigation system any day between 7 pm and 11 am. Residents may also hand water with a hand-held hose, soaker hose, or drip irrigation system at any time of the day. Commercial and residential fountains are allowed under year-round water rules.
Tips for Conserving Water
While San Antonio currently has year-round water rules for summer, it’s still important to do your part to save water. These steps will help you save thousands of gallons every year.
- Only water your lawn when it needs it to save up to 1,500 gallons a month.
- Fix plumbing leaks to save up to 600 gallons per month.
- Use a bucket with water instead of your hose to wash your car to save 150 gallons of water per wash.
- Install low-flow shower heads and faucets to save up to 800 gallons per month.
- Only run full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher to save up to 800 gallons per month.
If you fear you may have a leak or are interested in low-flow fixtures and toilets, please call Mr. Plumber to schedule an appointment today.