Cedar Park residents will be limited to watering once a week starting Aug. 14, when the city moves to Stage 3 of its drought contingency plan.

Two-minute impact

The day of the week residents are allowed to water is determined by their street address. Once Stage 3 restrictions go into effect, residents can find their updated watering schedule at www.waterthriftycedarpark.org.

Under Stage 3 restrictions, residents are still allowed to:
  • Water with a handheld hose that has an auto shut off nozzle
  • Wash their cars
  • Pressure wash building exteriors
  • Fill pools
Residents can track water usage and sign up for alerts to help them conserve through Cedar Park’s digital metering portal.

Overall, the city has a goal of reducing water usage by 10%-20% during Stage 3, Utility Program Manager Nanette McCartan said at an Aug. 10 City Council meeting.

The restrictions apply to all Cedar Park water customers. The city will begin enforcing penalties against violators Sept. 4. While the first official violation—one witnessed and documented by city staff—results in a warning, subsequent violations have fees ranging from $50-$200 for residential customers.

How we got here

The various stages of the drought contingency plan are triggered when the combined levels of Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan drop below certain thresholds, McCartan said.

As of the morning of Aug. 10, the combined shortage of both lakes is at 908,306 acre-feet. Stage 3 is triggered when that drops below 900,000 acre-feet.

With the lakes experiencing average daily decreases of 2,600 acre-feet, according to the Lower Colorado River Authority, the 900,000 acre-feet threshold will be surpassed in the coming days, McCartan said.

The city of Cedar Park has never entered Stage 4 restrictions, although it was in Stage 3 from 2013-15, she said.