Conservation & Drought
The primary objective of the San Marcos Utilities Conservation Department is to implement the City Council's goal of environmental stewardship through the promotion of energy and water efficiency programs such as school education, public outreach, and financial incentives. The long-term goal is to increase water and energy efficiency and reduce per capita usage.
There are many ways to increase your water and energy efficiency and decrease your utility bills. Many require little or no investment of time or money - it's as simple as fixing a leaky faucet or adjusting your thermostat.
Others require an initial investment but result in significant savings. Whether you are interested in making small changes or large ones, the City of San Utilities Conservation Department is here to help. We offer a variety of programs to help you achieve your water and energy conservation goals.
We hope you will take advantage of the many conservation programs we have to offer, and we thank you for doing your part to conserve our precious water and energy resources!
Water Conservation Contest
In response to the recent implementation of Stage 4 drought restrictions, three SMTX Utilities water customers will get the chance to win a $100 water credit, water monitoring system, or rain barrel by showing us your water conservation efforts. Here's how to enter:
Email a picture and description to SMTXU@sanmarcostx.gov showing how you've been conserving water since we've entered more strict drought restrictions. Submissions will be accepted through September 15, 2023. All submissions will be displayed in a Facebook album where you can react to the best ways people are conserving water during this critical time. Winners will be chosen based on the highest amount of reactions the picture receives. Disclaimer: If you win, you must show a current water bill to pick up your prize.
- Submissions will be accepted through September 15
- Voting will begin on the City's Facebook page September 18 through September 22
- Winners will be announced the week of September 25
Current Water Restriction: Stage 4
Due to aquifer levels continuing to drop over the last two months, the City of San Marcos will enter Stage 4 drought restrictions effective Sunday, August 27 at noon. Stage 4 is implemented when the 10-day average Edwards Aquifer index well level falls below 630 feet above mean sea level. On Monday, August 21 the 10-day average aquifer level was at 626.6 feet and the daily reading was 626.7 feet. It’s important to be mindful of our water usage, especially during this dry summer in Texas. Let’s come together as a community to protect our precious water resources. Click here for more information about the water conservation ordinance. Click here to view current Canyon Lake water levels.
The use of sprinklers is allowed as follows:
- No sprinkler use on Saturdays and Sundays.
- August 28 through September 1 – Sprinkler use allowed on designated weekday and times.
- September 4 through September 8 – No sprinkler use allowed.
- September 11 through September 15 – Sprinkler use allowed on designated weekday and times.
- September 18 through September 22 – No sprinkler use allowed.
- September 25 through September 29 – Sprinkler use allowed on designated weekday and times.
Full list of watering restrictions:
- Waste of water is prohibited. Waste includes allowing water to puddle or run off a property, operating a sprinkler system with broken or misaligned heads, and failing to repair leaks.
- Irrigation with hose-end sprinklers is allowed only one day every other week on the designated weekday before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. Irrigation with automatic sprinkler irrigation systems is allowed only one day every other week between the hours of 8:00 p.m. on the designated weekday and 4:00 a.m. on the following day.
- Irrigation with soaker hose and drip irrigation system is allowed one day per week before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
- Irrigation with hand-held bucket or hand-held hose is allowed on any day before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
- Irrigation of plants in inventory at commercial nurseries is allowed on any day and at any time.
- Irrigation of vegetable gardens using hand-held bucket, hand-held hose, soaker hose or drip irrigation is allowed on any day and at any time.
- Swimming pools located outdoors should be covered when not in use to minimize evaporative losses.
- Operation of outdoor aesthetic water features is prohibited.
- Washing impervious surfaces is prohibited unless required for health and safety purposes.
- Foundation watering using a drip system, soaker hose or hand-held hose is allowed only one day per week.
- Other non-essential water uses are allowed but all reasonable measures shall be taken to limit the use.
- Vehicle washing is restricted as follows:
- Charity car washes are prohibited unless held at a commercial car wash.
- Non-commercial vehicle washing is allowed one day per week and must be done using a hand-held bucket or hand-held hose equipped with a positive shutoff device.
- Commercial vehicle washing is allowed on any day and at any time.
- Irrigation of golf courses and athletic fields is restricted as follows:
- Irrigation of out-of-play areas such as entryways and areas around clubhouses shall follow general Stage 3 irrigation restrictions.
- Irrigation of in-play areas shall follow general Stage 3 irrigation restrictions unless an irrigation conservation plan has been submitted and approved by the director. If the general irrigation restrictions are being followed, alternative days may be requested to accommodate field usage schedules.
Alliance Water is a Regional Water Authority that was formed for the purpose of resolving the long-term water needs of its Participants. Alliance Water is comprised of the cities of Kyle, San Marcos and Buda, along with the Canyon Regional Water Authority which represents County Line Special Utility District (SUD), Crystal Clear SUD, Martindale WSC, and Green Valley SUD.
Edwards Aquifer Authority
The City of San Marcos pumps groundwater from the Edwards Aquifer. The Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) manages and regulates the Aquifer.
Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority
The City of San Marcos pumps surface water from Canyon Lake. These water rights are governed by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA).