Area water restrictions on tap

The Edwards Aquifer Authority declared Stage 1 water restrictions July 14.

With temperatures and demands for water rising and little rain forecast on the horizon, the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) declared mandatory Stage 1 restrictions for users in the San Antonio Pool effective last Friday, July 14.
Stage 1 restrictions are triggered when the 10-day rolling average of the Edwards Aquifer at the J-17 monitoring well, located in Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, drops to 660 feet or below. The average of the J-17 well dropped to 659.9 on July 13.
The restrictions require municipalities and other Edwards Aquifer groundwater permit holders in the San Antonio Pool who are authorized to pump more than three acre feet of water annually to reduce their annual authorized pumping by 20 percent, as well as report pumping totals to the EAA on a monthly basis.
Though the San Antonio Pool covers all of Medina County, as well as all of Bexar and parts of Atascosa, Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe, and Hays counties, Devine’s unique situation means the city is able to meet the EAA’s pumping reduction without actually entering into Stage 1 restrictions.
“We’re able to meet the pumping limit required by Stage 1 without going into Stage 1 because we have two water sources, the Edwards Aquifer and the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer,” Mayor Bill Herring said. “We cut pumping from the Edwards and pump more from the Carrizo instead.”
Natalia draws water solely from the Edwards Aquifer and isn’t so lucky.
Utility Director Art Smith confirmed that Natalia was in Stage 1 restrictions and had to cut pumping by approximately .98 acre feet at the City Council meeting on July 17.
“As of [July] 12, we had 159.064 acre feet remaining,” Smith said.
Natalia is authorized to pump 326.667 acre feet of water from the Edwards Aquifer. Large leaks in April and May contributed to the use of over half the city’s allotted water in just the first six months of the year.
Municipalities and utility districts can declare stricter or more frequent reductions than those imposed by the EAA. In keeping with its Water Management Plan, Castroville moved into its own Stage 1 restrictions on July 12, two days before the EAA’s were triggered.
Similarly, the Benton City Water Supply Corporation, which draws solely from the Carrizo Aquifer, has been in Stage 3 restrictions since June 3.
By Marly Davis
Staff Writer