San Marcos enters stage 3 drought

todayJune 30, 2023 49

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By Preethi Mangadu

News & Culture Director


SAN MARCOS—The City of San Marcos is set to enter Stage 3 drought restrictions on Sunday at noon. 

San Marcos began drought restrictions on March 13, 2022. The city increased to Stage 2 restrictions on April 17, 2022. This is San Marcos’s first time in Stage 3 since 2015. 

“Our area has been in a drought for over a year, and our water sources, the Edwards Aquifer and Canyon Lake, are well below normal levels and continuing to drop steadily,” Jan De La Cruz, SMTX Utilities’ conservation coordinator, said. 

Typically, Stage 3 is started when the 10-day average Edwards Aquifer index well level drops below 640 feet above the mean sea level. The aquifer’s 10-day average level was at 638.5 feet on Monday causing the Edwards Aquifer Authority to enter Stage 3. 

“We have been in drought for well over a year and are experiencing very high temperatures with little relief in sight,” said Director of SMTX Utilities Tyler Hjorth in a press release. “It’s vital that we do all we can to conserve our limited water resources and keep this situation from getting worse.”

Stage 3 drought restrictions limit decorative water features, drip irrigation and the use of soaker hoses. They also limit the use of sprinklers to one day every other week, which is designated by address.

A chart of when each address can use sprinklers in stage 3 drought restrictions
Source: The City of San Marcos

Using hose-end sprinklers is allowed once every other week before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. Automatic irrigation systems will also be allowed once every other weekday but on the assigned weekday between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. the next day. 

Foundation watering, at-home car washing and washing of impervious surfaces are only permitted once a week. However, Stage 3 prohibits filling decorative water features like fountains. 

There is little indication of when Stage 3 drought restrictions will end. “Because drought restrictions are weather dependent, it’s difficult to predict when we will return to stage 2 or 1,” De La Cruz said. 

To view full restrictions, visit the SMTX Utilities’ Conservation and Drought page

Featured Image by Kate Vita. 


Written by: Preethi Mangadu

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