New watering restrictions in Austin to take effect June 6

New watering restrictions will be going into effect soon as Austin will be implementing Stage 1 of its Drought Contingency Plan effective Monday, June 6.

This comes after Austin Water sent a memo to Austin Mayor Steve Adler and the Austin City Council last week warning about the potential for Stage 1.

According to the city, the combined storage level of water in Lakes Travis and Buchanan is currently at 1.409 million acre-feet this morning and is projected to drop below 1.4 million acre-feet within the next few days, triggering Stage 1.

Austin has been at the Conservation Stage of the plan, the lowest stage of the Water Conservation Code, for over three years. 

Austin Water says that the primary change for residents with Stage 1 would be the reduction of automatic irrigation watering hours to 13 hours from the current 15. Residents will still be able to use their automatic irrigation systems and hoses based on the current watering schedule.

Irrigation activities for athletic fields, drip irrigation, hoses watering trees with automatic bubblers, automatic drip irrigation or with a soaker hose beneath the tree canopy, and in vegetable gardens will also be allowed to continue without restrictions. Residential car washes, and the washing of any outdoor surface, is allowed with the use of positive shut-off valve or a bucket, says Austin Water.

Commercial customers will still continue to limit the use of patio misters to the hours between 4 p.m. and midnight. Commercial car washes will also be able to operate normally. 

To learn more about Austin Water's water restrictions, click here.

Austin Water will also undertake additional community outreach and education through social media, radio, television announcements, and responses to frequently asked questions on Austin Water’s website, says the city. 

Austin Water will also continue its investigations of reported non-compliance received via Austin 3-1-1 and water waste patrols.