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The original item was published from 6/29/2023 3:31:00 PM to 7/26/2023 11:48:09 AM.

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Posted on: June 27, 2023

[ARCHIVED] San Marcos to Enter Stage 3 Drought Restrictions

Stage 3 Drought Restrictions

Due to dropping aquifer levels, the City of San Marcos will enter Stage 3 drought restrictions effective Sunday, July 2 at noon. Stage 3 is implemented when the 10-day average Edwards Aquifer index well level falls below 640 feet above mean sea level. On Monday, June 26 the 10-day average aquifer level was at 638.5 feet and the daily reading was 636.4 feet.

“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. “It’s vital that we do all we can to conserve our limited water resources and keep this situation from getting worse.”

San Marcos entered into drought restrictions on March 13, 2022, and escalated to Stage 2 restrictions on April 17, 2022. The last time San Marcos was in Stage 3 drought restrictions was in 2015.

The Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) entered Stage 3 drought restrictions June 26, 2023. The EAA was briefly under enhanced restrictions in 2022, but the City of San Marcos chose to remain in Stage 2 restrictions due to acceptable levels at Canyon Lake, which is the City’s main water source.

Stage 3 drought restrictions place limits on the use of soaker hoses, drip irrigation, and decorative water features. Use of any type of sprinkler is limited to one day every other week on the designated weekday determined by address. Hose-end sprinklers are permitted once every other week before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. Automatic irrigation systems are allowed once every other week on the designated weekday beginning at 8 p.m. and ending the following morning at 4 a.m. Drought Watering Addresses

Use of sprinklers is allowed as follows:

  • No sprinkler use on Saturdays and Sundays. 
  • July 3 through July 7 – Sprinkler use allowed on designated weekday and times.
  • July 10 through July 14 – No sprinkler use allowed.
  • July 17 through July 21 – Sprinkler use allowed on designated weekday and times.
  • July 24 through July 28 – No sprinkler use allowed.

Using soaker hoses or drip irrigation is allowed any day during the designated usage times. Hand watering using a hand-held bucket or hose is allowed on any day at any time.  

Filling decorative water features such as fountains is prohibited in Stage 3. At-home car washing, washing of impervious surfaces, and foundation watering is allowed only one day per week.  

The full text of Stage 3 rules and all updates may be found on the City of San Marcos website at

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