Daily Record graphic by Colton Ashabranner
San Marcos to enter Stage 1 drought restrictions beginning Sunday
The City of San Marcos will reenter Stage 1 drought restrictions beginning Sunday at noon.
The city said it enters Stage 1 drought restrictions when the 10-day average Edwards Aquifer index well level falls below 660 feet above mean sea level. The 10-day average aquifer level was at 658.9 feet and the daily reading was 658.2 feet on Tuesday, the city said.
“We ended 2020 well below average annual rainfall and are already several inches below average rainfall for this year.” Director of Public Services Tom Taggart said. “These dry conditions are expected to continue through the summer so it’s very important that we do everything we can to conserve our precious water resources.”
San Marcos began the year in Stage 1 drought restrictions, which started on Oct. 16, 2020 and ended on Jan. 10.
The Edwards Aquifer Authority declared Stage 1 pumping restrictions for aquifer users within the San Antonio Pool on March 24 after the 10-day average at the index well in Bexar County dropped below 660 feet to 659.7 feet msl.
The EAA cited declining water levels and diminishing springflow for Stage 1 declaration, which requires Edwards groundwater permit holders in Atascosa, Bexar, Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe, Hays and Medina counties to reduce their annual authorized pumping amount by 20%. According to the EAA, the mandatory pumping restrictions allow water levels and springflow to stabilize until rainfall replenishes the aquifer.
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.