KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — Recent rains and conservative water use has allowed the City of Kyle to move from Stage 2 drought restrictions to Stage 1, as of Wednesday. The City has been in Stage 2 water restrictions since May 2013.
Under Stage 2, customers were allowed to water their lawn twice a week, but under Stage 1 people can use automatic sprinklers more than twice a week, just not between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. The downgrade to Stage 1 means that people in Kyle can now wash vehicles more freely: before, only buckets or heldheld hoses with positives shutoff nozzles were allowed. Charity car washes can take place, as well as more frequent washing of tennis courts, driveways, patios and sidewalks.
“The City of Kyle has the lowest per capita water usage in the region at approximately 90 gallons of water used per day per person,” says Kyle City Manager Scott Sellers. “We are happy to be able to make more water available to our water customers, but we also need to caution everyone that restrictions may need to be reinstituted if drought conditions return.”
The City of Kyle gets its water from Guadalupe/Blanco River Authority, the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District and the Edwards Aquifer Authority.
The Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer has also moved to its own Stage 1 voluntary water restrictions. The aquifer had been in Stage 2 water restrictions since April of 2014.
The City of Austin is still in Stage 2 conservation, meaning people can only water their lawns one time a week. No vehicles may be washed at a residence, but commercial car washes are still allowed. Charity car washes are also banned, and restaurants may not serve water to customers unless ask.
Bastrop, which has seen heavy rainfall in recent weeks, is on its year-round watering schedule where residents can water each day of the week, just not between 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
San Marcos is on the verge of changing its water restrictions: it may move from Stage 2 to Stage 1 in upcoming weeks. The J-17 index well in San Antonio is the gauge used to change stages, and current levels show 649.40 feet, just under an inch shy of the needed 650 feet to move to Stage 1.
Round Rock and Georgetown are in Stage 1, where residents can water two days of the week. Both of these cities are governed by Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Lake Belton and Lake Georgetown, which are currently some of the lowest lakes in the Brazos River Authority. Judy Pierce with the Brazos River Authority says that predicted rains in the coming weeks will likely not be large enough to downgrade water restrictions.
Pflugerville is technically in Stage 3 water restrictions, but as each city is allowed to designate its own guidelines, the restrictions are similar to Stage 2 in most other cities: residents can water one day a week. Pflugerville has been in this stage of conservation since August of 2013.
Fredericksburg is also in Stage 3, but as part of the ongoing Hill Country drought, its definition includes a current “severe water shortage.” Residents in Fredericksburg may still water their lawns one day a week.
Most other areas that are pulling out of drought after a rainy start to 2015 will be in Stage 1 water restrictions from May 1st to September 30, as part of yearly conscious water conservation.