Conservation & Drought
The primary objective of the San Marcos Utilities Conservation Department is to implement the City Council's goal of environmental stewardship through the promotion of energy and water efficiency programs such as school education, public outreach, and financial incentives. The long-term goal is to increase water and energy efficiency and reduce per capita usage.
There are many ways to increase your water and energy efficiency and decrease your utility bills. Many require little or no investment of time or money - it's as simple as fixing a leaky faucet or adjusting your thermostat.
Others require an initial investment but result in significant savings. Whether you are interested in making small changes or large ones, the City of San Utilities Conservation Department is here to help. We offer a variety of programs to help you achieve your water and energy conservation goals.
We hope you will take advantage of the many conservation programs we have to offer, and we thank you for doing your part to conserve our precious water and energy resources!
Current Water Restriction: Stage 3
Due to rising water levels at the Edwards Aquifer, Canyon Lake, and Comal River, the City of San Marcos will return to Stage 3 drought restrictions effective Sunday, November 5. It’s important to be mindful of our water usage during any drought stage. We must continue to come together as a community to protect our precious water resources. Click here for more information about the water conservation ordinance.
Full list of watering restrictions:
- Waste of water is prohibited. Waste includes allowing water to puddle or run off a property, operating a sprinkler system with broken or misaligned heads, and failing to repair leaks.
- Irrigation with hose-end sprinklers is allowed only one day every other week on the designated weekday before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. Irrigation with automatic sprinkler irrigation systems is allowed only one day every other week between the hours of 8:00 p.m. on the designated weekday and 4:00 a.m. on the following day.
- Irrigation with soaker hose and drip irrigation system is allowed on any day before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
- Irrigation with hand-held bucket or hand-held hose is allowed on any day and at any time.
- Irrigation of plants in inventory at commercial nurseries is allowed on any day and at any time.
- Irrigation of vegetable gardens using hand-held bucket, hand-held hose, soaker hose or drip irrigation is allowed on any day and at any time.
- Swimming pools located outdoors should be covered when not in use to minimize evaporative losses.
- Operation of outdoor aesthetic water features is prohibited.
- Washing impervious surfaces is prohibited unless required for health and safety purposes.
- Foundation watering using a drip system, soaker hose or hand-held hose is allowed only one day per week.
- Other non-essential water uses are allowed but all reasonable measures shall be taken to limit the use.
- Vehicle washing is restricted as follows:
- Charity car washes are prohibited unless held at a commercial car wash.
- Non-commercial vehicle washing is allowed one day per week and must be done using a hand-held bucket or hand-held hose equipped with a positive shutoff device.
- Commercial vehicle washing is allowed on any day and at any time.
- Irrigation of golf courses and athletic fields is restricted as follows:
- Irrigation of out-of-play areas such as entryways and areas around clubhouses shall follow general Stage 3 irrigation restrictions.
- Irrigation of in-play areas shall follow general Stage 3 irrigation restrictions unless an irrigation conservation plan has been submitted and approved by the director. If the general irrigation restrictions are being followed, alternative days may be requested to accommodate field usage schedules.
Alliance Water is a Regional Water Authority that was formed for the purpose of resolving the long-term water needs of its Participants. Alliance Water is comprised of the cities of Kyle, San Marcos and Buda, along with the Canyon Regional Water Authority which represents County Line Special Utility District (SUD), Crystal Clear SUD, Martindale WSC, and Green Valley SUD.
Edwards Aquifer Authority
The City of San Marcos pumps groundwater from the Edwards Aquifer. The Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) manages and regulates the Aquifer.
Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority
The City of San Marcos pumps surface water from Canyon Lake. These water rights are governed by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA).