Stage 4 water restrictions implemented across JBSA

  • Published
  • By Archie (Tray) Cooper
  • 802nd Civil Engineer Squadron Natural Resource Specialist

The Comal Spring 10-day average spring flow has dropped below 100 cubic feet per second, or CFS, and is was at 96 CFS as of 7 p.m. Aug. 12.

The Edwards Aquifer Authority, or EAA, recently announced Stage 4, however our requirements are with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Stage 4 Restrictions consists of ALL the previous restrictions  from Stage Normal, Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3, plus:

  • Installation of new turf is prohibited.
  • Lawn/turf watering is prohibited.
  • Landscapes may be watered by a one-inch diameter or less hand held garden hose, soaker hose, or a five-gallon (or less) bucket every two weeks from 3-8 a.m. and 8-10 p.m. on days from Table 1.
  • Athletic fields may be watered once every two weeks 3-8 a.m. and 8-10 p.m. once per week on the days from Table 1.
  • Government vehicle and privately owned vehicle washing not allowed except in extreme circumstances approved in advance by the 502nd Air Base Wing commander or his/her designee.

The JBSA declared Stage 4 in accordance with the current JBSA Critical Period Management Plan and Biological Opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The biological opinion limits JBSA's water draw from the Edwards Aquifer in order to protect eight threatened and endangered species which live in the aquifer and its associated springs. These species can only survive when aquifer levels and spring flows are adequately maintained.

In Stage 4, the lawn/turf watering is prohibited, however landscapes maybe watered by 1 inch diameter or less hand held garden hose, soaker hose, or a 5 gallon (or less) bucket every two weeks 0300-0800 and 2000-2200 on the following days:

  • Address/facility number ends in 0 or 1, Monday is the watering day;
  • Address/facility number ends in 2 or 3, Tuesday is the watering day;
  • Address/facility number ends in 4 or 5, Wednesday is the watering day;
  • Address/facility number ends in 6 or 7, Thursday is the watering day;
  • Address/facility number ends in 8 or 9, Friday is the watering day. Use of portable yard pools is prohibited, as well as fire hydrant and sewer flushing. Additionally, there will be no watering on weekends with a sprinkler, soaker hose or irrigation system.

All water restriction measures are listed in the JBSA Critical Period Management Plan available online at www.jbsa.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-130809-013.pdf.

All utilities/well permit holders (including JBSA and SAWS) who withdraw water from the Edwards Aquifer are required to reduce withdrawals as the level of the Aquifer drops. Many water utilities, such as SAWS, have alternate sources of water that is not pumped from the Edwards Aquifer. Information on SAWS Aquifer Storage and Recovery can be viewed at the following website http://saws.org/Your_Water/WaterResources/projects/asr.cfm.

SAWS and other municipalities have more flexibility because they provide water from multiple sources not exclusively the Edwards Aquifer. This allows them to reduce restrictions to their customers. JBSA does not have this ability. When the thresholds of the Critical Period Management Plan are met, the restrictions become more stringent, and these restrictions apply directly to the JBSA population in order to not violate the Endangered Species Act.

The JBSA Water Conservation Hotline at 466-4H2O (466-4426) allows for reporting of water abusers and will bring potential disciplinary measures to violators. This water point of contact will respond to calls, investigate, annotate abuse and inform the resident, facility manager or responsible individual of the problem. The POCs will then report the problem to the 502nd ABW, with further action coordinated from this point.

For people who live off base, SAWS has an online form to report water wasters at http://www.saws.org/conservation/waterwaste/reportform.cfm. These offenses can lead to citations and fines for homeowners and businesses not following the rules.

If you are not a SAWS customer, please check your water provider's website for their process to report violations.

For more water-saving tips, check out these websites: http://www.WaterUseItWisely.com (100+ ways to conserve), http://www.EPA.gov and http://SAWS.org.