Edwards Aquifer Authority returns to Stage 4 permit reductions
The Edwards Aquifer Authority recently declared it would return to Stage 4 Critical Period Management permit reductions.
EAA’s Stage 4 reductions impact counties under its purview within the San Antonio Pool effective Saturday, Oct. 8, including Hays, Atascosa, Bexar, Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Medina counties.
EAA’s Stage 4 declaration occurred after it was officially confirmed that the 10-day average at Comal Springs was updated to 92 cubic feet per second on Saturday, which is below the threshold for Stage 4 critical period management.
EAA previously declared Stage 4 permit predictions on Aug. 11 but quickly returned to Stage 3 restrictions on Aug. 18.
Under the newly announced Stage 4 reductions, 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 40%. EAA said the Stage 4 reductions apply to all Edwards Aquifer groundwater permit holders authorized to pump more than three acre-feet annually, including industrial and agricultural uses, and water utilities authorized to pump from the Edwards Aquifer for delivery to its customers. Additionally, permit holders affected by Stage 4 reductions must report their pumping totals to EAA on a monthly basis, EAA said.
Residents and businesses within counties which receive their water from a public water system impacted by EAA’s declaration should follow their respective water provider’s directives regarding water use practices.
The City of San Marcos is currently under Stage 2 drought restrictions, which went into effect on April 17 after the 10-day average Edwards Aquifer level fell below 650 feet above mean sea level.
Stage 2 drought rules place limits on the use of soaker hoses, drip irrigation, and using decorative water features.
The use of sprinklers is limited to one day per week on a designated weekday determined by address. Irrigation using hose-end sprinklers is allowed on the designated weekday before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. 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.
Using soaker hoses or drip irrigation is allowed any day but must be done before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. Hand watering is still allowed on any day and at any time.
Filling decorative water features such as fountains is prohibited in Stage 2. At-home car washing, washing of impervious surfaces, and foundation watering is limited to one day per week.
The full text of Stage 2 rules can be found on the City of San Marcos website at www.sanmarcostx.gov/drought.