Austin enters stage 2 of Drought Contingency Plan

Water storage levels dipped below 900,000 acre-feet in Lakes Travis and Buchanan, sending the City of Austin into stage 2 water restrictions on Tuesday, August 15.

"You know it’s no secret that the Austin community has been experiencing drought for quite some time. In fact, on June 22, Austin Water issued stage one drought restrictions associated with our water conservation plan," says Kevin Critendon the assistant director of Austin Water.

According to Austin Water, the stage two restrictions prohibit water waste, charity car washes, and the use of large fountains.

"As we move into stage two, probably the biggest impact for residents certainly is, that we will be shortening allowable irrigation times, additionally we will also move to once-a-week watering," says Critendon.

The council-approved drought contingency plan comes with an outdoor watering schedule to conserve water.

"We do have a schedule again, it’s an odd or even address schedule, again we just ask you go to the website, and you can put your address and find out what your watering schedule is," says Critendon.

According to the water restriction guidelines, restaurants will serve water only upon request, patio misters at restaurants and bars can only operate between 4 p.m. and midnight, and automatic irrigation runtime is reduced to 3 hours.


Those that fail to follow the schedule will be penalized.

"Our primary hope is that we can get increased awareness out there, and we do rely on voluntary compliance, in the case that we do find someone watering, folks could be fined up to $1,000," says Critendon.

There will be crews searching for violators, says Critendon. 

"We have an enforcement patrol that regularly monitors, now that we have moved into stage two we have enhanced that patrol with additional staff," says Critendon.

For complete details about the Austin Water drought response, visit