Texas Capital Takes Water Conservation Seriously as Drought Lingers On

The severity of the drought in Texas was underlined in early Sept. by the shutdown of such familiar water features as downtown Austin fountains. This was mandated as the city of Austin issued a Stage 2 drought declaration.

The declaration was put in effect when the two main lakes, Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan, reached the 900,000 acre-foot trigger mandated by the city’s Drought Contingency Plan.

Here are some of the restrictions that went into place with the Stage 2 declaration.

  • Hose-end irrigation may take place between midnight and 10 a.m. and between 7 p.m. and midnight on your assigned watering day.
  • Automatic irrigation systems may operate between midnight and 5 a.m. and between 7 p.m. and midnight on your assigned watering day.
    • Please reduce system run times to fit within this schedule.
    • Please ensure that your system has a working rain sensor, or operate the system manually when rain is forecasted.
  • Watering with a hand-held hose or bucket is allowed at any time on any day of the week.
  • Drip irrigation is exempt from the schedule, due to increased efficiency.
  • To water trees, soaker hoses may be used under the drip-line of the tree canopy or you may use your automatic tree bubblers.  Irrigating trees in this manner is exempt from the watering schedule
  • Washing vehicles at home is prohibited. If you need to wash a vehicle, you may do so at a commercial carwash facility.
  • Charity car washes are prohibited
  • Fountains with either a fall or spray of water greater than four inches are prohibited; unless necessary to preserve aquatic life.
  • Restaurants may not serve water unless requested by a customer
  • Commercial properties (including restaurants and bars) may only operate patio misters between 4 p.m. and midnight.

Learn How to Care for a Tree During Drought at Austin Water’s Website.