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JBSA News
NEWS | June 11, 2024

Stage 4 water restrictions implemented across JBSA

JBSA Natural Resource Office

Joint Base San Antonio has moved into Stage 4 water restrictions.

The water restrictions are progressive in nature, which means that ALL the restrictions from Stage Normal, 1, 2 and 3 plus the Stage 4 restriction are in effect. The attached fact sheet covers just the restrictions, while the attached Critical Period Management Plan covers the regulatory requirements and additional context to the management of the JBSA water conservation program.

The Edwards Aquifer Authority, or EAA, recently announced Stage 4, however, our requirements are with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The EAA also reported lower water flow from Comal Springs. The springs are flowing at an average of 88 cubic feet per second over the last 10 days, below the Stage 4 threshold of 100 cubic feet per second. 

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 is 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, lawn/turf watering is prohibited, however, landscapes may be watered by a 1-inch diameter or less hand-held garden hose, soaker hose, or a 5-gallon (or less) bucket every two weeks between 3-8 a.m. and 8-10 p.m. 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 are not pumped from the Edwards Aquifer. Information on SAWS Aquifer Storage and Recovery can be viewed at the following website https://apps.saws.org/mywmrc/planning_storage.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 on 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 https://www.saws.org/conservation/water-waste/. These offenses can lead to citations and fines for homeowners and businesses not following the rules. SAWS, which gets about half of its supply from the aquifer, intends to stay at Stage 2 restrictions for its users at this time. The city-owned utility will be able to meet the required cutbacks from the aquifer without additional limits on customers

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 https://www.epa.gov/ and https://www.saws.org/. Send any questions on this program to 502CES.CEIEA.NATURALRESOURCES@us.af.mil.