The Edwards Aquifer has slipped below the trigger point for Stage Three water restrictions in both San Antonio and New Braunfels. One city has decided to take action, while the other will wait it out.
The Aquifer hit 639 feet today, setting the ball rolling for every other week watering, at least for San Antonio and New Braunfels. New Braunfels Mayor Gale Pospisil issued a declaration stating Stage Three would begin on Monday. Utility Spokeswoman Gretchen Reuwer says the first week of no watering will be August 19th.
“We have taken some time to look at our information, the usage of our system, the data that we have and the long term forecasts, and it does not show any signs of recovering significantly enough over the weekends to stave this off any longer," Reuwer says.
SAWS, however, under its current drought management plan, would need to wait for the ten day average to go below 640 which could be Thursday. But even if does that, spokeswoman Anne Hayden says SAWS will likely not implement Stage Three due to backup sources like the Trinity and Carrizo Aquifers, Lake Dunlap, and Canyon Lake.
“As long as people are conservative with their water use, we’re cautiously optimistic that we can continue the year without Stage Three restrictions,” Hayden says.
Besides every other week lawn watering for San Antonio, Stage Three restrictions would also limit residential car washing to once per week, and hotels can only change towels and sheets once every three nights.