PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CITY OF SAN MARCOS
San Marcos will enter Stage 2 drought restrictions effective Monday, May 7, 2012 at noon in response to quickly falling levels of the Edwards Aquifer. The aquifer has dropped 19 feet in the last 30 days.
Stage 2 for the San Antonio Pool of the Edwards Aquifer is implemented when the 10-day average at the J-17 index well level falls below 650 feet above mean sea level (msl).
On Thursday, May 3, the daily reading was 647.2 feet above msl, with a 10-day average of 649.7 feet. The historical average for May is 666.2 feet.
San Marcos Stage 2 rules restrict use of sprinklers, sprinkler systems, foundation watering, soaker hoses and at-home car washing to limited hours on one designated weekday. Stage 2 also limits watering of golf courses and athletic fields, prohibits filling new swimming pools and outdoor decorative water features, and washing paved surfaces.
“Aquifer levels have very quickly dropped over the past few weeks,” said Tom Taggart, Executive Director of Public Services. “A drop of nearly 20 feet has occurred in that short time. We are seeing daily declines of over 1 foot in level. This requires we rigorously conserve our water to slow the decline and the resulting spring flow decreases.”
San Marcos activated Stage 1 watering restrictions on April 23, 2012 when the level of the underground pool that serves as a water source for 2 million Texans dropped below 660 feet. The index well level was at 666 feet on April 1, at 657 feet on April 18, and at 647 feet on May 3.
In 2011, San Marcos and the Edwards region were under drought restrictions for most of the year. The City implemented Stage 1 of its Drought Response Plan on April 19, 2011 and Stage 2 on June 3, 2011. Under EAA rules, aquifer users such as municipalities are required to reduce their usage by 30% during Stage 2.