By Preethi Mangadu
Chief Editor of News
Many cities in Central Texas have announced new water restrictions due to the Texas drought. Though San Marcos has water restrictions, issued April 04, 2022, there is a chance of restrictions increasing.
Austin, Round Rock, Hutto, Buda, Kyle, and Georgetown all have new water restrictions that affect residential areas, commercial businesses, industrial properties, public schools, and more communities. The restrictions range from Stage 1 restrictions to Stage 3 restrictions.
According to the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), Texas is currently having its sixth driest year out of the past 128 years, which is affecting about 22.8 million people.
Hays County, including San Marcos, is having its fifth driest year out of the past 128 years and severe drought (D2) conditions. This means “pasture conditions are very poor,” “soil is hard, hindering planting; crop yields decrease” and “wildfire danger is severe; burn bans are implemented,” as stated by the NIDIS.
“San Marcos is currently in Stage 2 drought restrictions,” said Jan De La Cruz, San Marcos Utilities Conservation Coordinator. “However, there is a risk we could go to Stage 3 soon, which would limit the use of sprinklers to one day every other week.”
Stage 2 water restrictions include wastewater being prohibited, irrigation with hose-end sprinklers and automatic sprinkler irrigation systems being limited, car washing being restricted, swimming pools required to be covered, and more.
One way water restrictions and drought threats in San Marcos are determined is by the 10-day average index well level in the Edwards Aquifer. When Stage 2 was enacted, the average was at 649.3 feet above the mean sea level. In the most current report from the National Weather Service, the current level is 632 feet, which is 25 feet below historical average values for this time of year, according to data collected on July 13, 2022.
While La Niña, a natural Pacific Ocean cycle, and heat waves are proponents of Texas’s drought, many factors can play into it.
“It’s a mix of rapid growth in San Marcos which strains limited water recourses and lack of rainfall we’ve received this season,” said De La Cruz. “San Marcos is 6” behind in rainfall for this year. We should have received over 20” by now but have only received about 14”.”
San Marcos residents can help protect water supplies by limiting irrigation with water, fixing any water leaks and prioritizing watering to trees and native perennial plants first to lawns and annual beds last.
To learn more about San Marcos’s water restrictions, visit www.sanmarcostx.gov/219/Drought-Response.
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