Hays in ‘moderate drought,’ water conservation urged

By Anita Miller

Although an occasion seabreeze shower can’t be discounted this time of year, and hurricane season’s not done for two months, a warning about water usage is still timely. According to the drought monitor released Sept. 12,  Hays County is classified as D1, moderate drought. “Severe drought” is indicated to the north in parts of Travis County and to the south in Comal and Guadalupe counties.

The city of Kyle, which has been in Stage 1 of its water conservation rules since November 2018, says if current water consumption holds, a move to Stage 2 may be in the offing. Stage 2 was in effect from the summer of 2017 through October 2018.

Water usage in the city averaged 2.9 million gallons a day last year but peaked at 5.4 mgd. The average yearly usage was the same five years ago, but then the peak was only 3.8 mgd.

The goal of Stage 1 rules is a 10 percent voluntary reduction in groundwater withdrawal the city is permitted by the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD).

Stage 1 requires the city, and individual users, to reduce water usage, to work with the BSEACD in water conservation awareness and to utilize the city’s other available water sources as required to comply with pumping reductions.

Under Stage 1, the use of automatic irrigation systems or sprinklers is only allowed before 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m. Exceptions include the irrigation of new landscapes (if the city manager is notified at least one day in advance), in connection with “repair or testing of a new or existing irrigation system,” and for watering nursery stock.

Watering with the use of a hand-held hose is permitted anytime, and residents are also encouraged to check for and fix water leaks.

Under Stage 2, watering with a hand-held hose or bucket is allowed at any time, but irrigation is limited to between midnight and 10 a.m. and only on designated das.

Stage 2 also prohibits washing vehicles except during designated hours on designated days. Charity car washes are also prohibited, as is using an automatic fill valve to add water to pool or pond.

Should the city go to Stage 3, which is designated “emergency water use management,” even stricter rules apply. New landscapes may not be installed, commercial nurseries may use on ly hand-held hoses, or drip irrigation, and filling, refilling or adding water to

pools, fountains and ponds is outlawed.

For more informaiton on city rules, www.cityofkyle.com or call 512-262-3024.

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