San Antonio Water Restrictions – What You Need to Know

Even though we’ve had a pretty rainy year so far, when the Edward’s Aquifer drops below a certain level, San Antonio heads into water restrictions to help conserve our precious water resources. As of July 10, 2020 San Antonio residents are under Stage-1 water restrictions.

Stage 1 Restrictions

According to SAWS: “Stage 1 of the city’s water management plan is triggered when the 10-day average of the Edwards Aquifer at the J-17 monitoring well drops to 660 feet or below…When in Stage 1, outdoor watering with a sprinkler or irrigation system is allowed only before 11 a.m. and after 7 p.m., one day per week, as determined by the last number of your street address.”

Printable ‘When to water’ Chart

Other things to know:

  • While in Stage 1 restrictions, all non-public swimming pools must have a minimum of 25% of the surface area covered with evaporation screens/inflatable pool toys or decorations when not in use.
  • Watering with a hand-held hose, drip irrigation, bucket, or watering can is allowed any time and any day.
  • Residential car washing allowed during drought once per week on Saturday or Sunday as long as there is no water waste.
  • All residents should try to reduce water consumption and use as little as possible.

Stage 2 Restrictions

If the aquifer’s 10-day rolling average reaches 650 feet at the monitored well, Stage 2 restrictions go into effect. Stage 2 includes all of the Stage 1 rules (although some are modified) plus additional regulations, mostly to commercial water users. Two changes to note:

  • Landscape watering with an irrigation system, sprinkler or soaker hose is allowed only once a week from 7-11 a.m. and 7-11 p.m. on your designated watering day, as determined by your address.
  • Watering with drip irrigation or 5-gallon bucket is permitted any day, but only between 7-11 a.m. and 7-11 p.m.

Stage 3 + 4 Restrictions

Stage 3 and 4 water restrictions include more restricted regulations on landscape watering and possible ‘drought surcharges’ assessed by SAWS for landscaping water use.

Variances + Exceptions

Variances to the water restrictions are available from SAWS for a few situations including if you add new landscaping. Be sure to read all of the details, though, as there are specific exclusions to ‘new landscaping’.

Reporting Water Waste

Broken sprinkler heads, commercial properties overwatering, or major overspray from a sprinkler system? SAWS asks you to help conservation efforts by reporting water waste. If you see water waste happening in your neighborhood (a forgetful neighbor who didn’t adjust their irrigation system or kids who forgot to turn off the hose after the inflatable pool was filled) it’s probably best to have a friendly neighbor-to-neighbor chat. In the case of egregious or commercial water waste, you can report the activities to SAWS by using the form on their website or calling 210-704-SAWS.

A fifth-generation San Antonionian - who happened to spend her formative years in Austin - Amanda loves the SAT from the confetti in her hair to the bluebonnets under her feet. Never one to miss a reason to host a party or decorate for a theme, Amanda revels in the 'mas Fiesta' attitude of the city. She's mom to Vivi (2012) aka #HurricaneVivi and wife to Francois, whom she met at Texas A&M (FTAC '05). She has a Masters in Early Childhood Education and a Doctorate in Making it Up As She Goes - which means she's a sometimes-fun-mom. You can find her on Instagram . She loves confetti, croissants, and a cold Ranch Water. Favorite Restaurant: Piatti's Favorite Landmark: Johnson Street footbridge in King William Favorite San Antonio Tradition: Fiesta Medals