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Daily Record infographic by Colton Ashabranner

City to move back into Stage 1 drought restrictions

Saturday, May 22, 2021

The City of San Marcos announced it will exit Stage 2 drought restrictions and move down to Stage 1 rules effective Sunday. 

The city’s move comes after rains continued to fall over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone. According to the city, the Edwards Aquifer index well level hit 666 feet above mean sea level and the daily reading was 6662 feet msl on May 20, allowing the city to reduce its restrictions. 

“We received much needed rainfall, but we still need to remain vigilant,” Interim Utilities Director Tyler Hjorth said in a statement. “We still have a long, hot, and likely dry summer ahead of us so it’s crucial to continue conservation.”

The city’s decision comes weeks after the Edwards Aquifer Authority declared an exit from Stage 1 permit reductions from the San Antonio Pool. The EAA announced on May 7 that it was exiting Stage 1 permit restrictions after it recorded a 10-day rolling average measurement taken at J-17 Index Well of 600.8 feet msl and the discharge measurements taken at Comal Springs were recorded at 234 cubic feet per second, allowing the groundwater conservation district to relieve its restrictions. 

The EAA Critical Period Management Plan for the San Antonio Pool requires Edwards groundwater permit holders in Atascosa, Bexar, Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe, Hays and Medina counties to reduce their annual authorized pumping by a certain percentage based on the declared stage. 

The City of San Marcos had been under Stage 2 drought restrictions since April 25.

Under Stage 1 restrictions, the city restricts use of sprinklers to one day per week on a designated day determined by address — addresses ending with 0 or 1 may use sprinklers on Monday; 2 or 3 on Tuesday; 4 or 5 on Wednesday; 6 or 7 on Thursday; and 8 or 9 on Friday. Irrigation using hose-end sprinklers is allowed on the designated weekday during designated usage times. Irrigation with automatic irrigation systems is allowed on the designated weekday beginning at 8 p.m. and ending the following morning at 8 a.m. 

Hand watering and using soaker hoses or drip irrigation is allowed on any day and at any time. 

Additionally, Stage 1 rules also limit at-home car washing, washing of impervious surfaces and foundation water to one day per week. The city stated that wasting water is prohibited. 

Full text of Stage 1 rules can be found at sanmarcostx.gov/drought.

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666