While the Edwards Aquifer Authority has declared Stage 3 water conservation rules, the San Antonio Water System said June 13 that its customers will remain at Stage 2 for the time being.

In a press statement, SAWS officials said the water level at the Edwards Aquifer J-17 index well is steadily dropping. However, after consulting with San Antonio city management, SAWS officials said their utility’s non-Edwards Aquifer water supplies, storage facilities and conservation measures will help to make up for the reduced Edwards Aquifer pumping requirements that affect only pumpers.

SAWS officials also said EAA pumping cutbacks, which were triggered when the 10-day average of the J-17 well reached 640 feet, will not affect SAWS customers at this time since the utility has demonstrated that it can meet cutbacks without stricter rules.

“SAWS has worked for 30 years to prepare for these kinds of Edwards cutbacks. We are well prepared with diversified water resources and reasonable watering rules in place,” SAWS President and CEO Robert Puente said.

According to the city’s aquifer management plan ordinance, coming out of drought stages can be considered 15 days after the aquifer is found to be above the trigger level.

According to the plan, watering days remain the same in Stage 2 as in Stage 1. However, the hours during which watering is allowed are shortened.

Watering with a sprinkler, irrigation system or soaker hose is allowed only between 7-11 a.m. and 7-11 p.m. on a resident’s designated day as determined by the last number of one’s street address. Watering with a handheld hose is still allowed any time on any day, SAWS officials said.