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The original item was published from 8/21/2023 12:12:55 PM to 10/22/2023 12:00:03 AM.

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Posted on: August 21, 2023

[ARCHIVED] San Marcos to Enter Stage 4 Drought Restrictions

Stage 4 drought response

Due to aquifer levels continuing to drop over the last two months, the City of San Marcos will enter Stage 4 drought restrictions effective Sunday, August 27 at noon. Stage 4 is implemented when the 10-day average Edwards Aquifer index well level falls below 630 feet above mean sea level. On Monday, August 21 the 10-day average aquifer level was at 626.6 feet and the daily reading was 626.7 feet.

“The extreme high heat and lack of rainfall continues to pose a challenge to our region,” said Director of SMTX Utilities Tyler Hjorth. “We are hoping weather predictions will bring us a wetter than normal winter and replenish our water resources, but in the meantime, we must do everything we can as a community to protect the water supply we currently have available.”

The City’s main water source, Canyon Lake, is experiencing near-historic low water levels below 70 percent capacity. Canyon Lake experienced historic low water levels in September of 2009 at 892.7 feet. As of Monday 21, 2023, Canyon Lake has a current level of 893.07 feet. 

San Marcos entered into drought restrictions on March 13, 2022, and escalated to Stage 3 restrictions on June 26, 2023. The last time San Marcos was in Stage 4 drought restrictions was in 2014.

The new restrictions approved under Stage 4 drought restrictions include using soaker hoses or drip irrigation is allowed one day per week on the designated weekday before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. Hand watering is permitted on any day before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m.

Under Stage 4 drought restrictions, the use of sprinklers is limited to one day every other week designated weekday determined by address. Hose-end sprinklers are permitted on the designated weekday before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. Automatic irrigation systems are allowed on the designated weekday beginning at 8 p.m. and ending the following morning at 4 a.m.  Sprinkler usage is permitted every other week beginning August 28 through September 1. The approved days residents can use sprinkler systems can be found on our website. The sprinkler usage schedule will be updated monthly at

Stage 4 drought restrictions prohibit water waste including washing impervious surfaces, using decorative water features, and filling swimming pools. At-home car washing and foundation watering is allowed only one day per week. Variances for new landscape establishment are not issued in Stage 4.

More details of Stage 4 restrictions and all updates can be found on the City of San Marcos website at

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