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Stage I water restrictions to end Sunday

By James Coburn | 37 Training Wing Public Affairs | Nov. 20, 2006

Lackland Air Force Base, Texas — Stage I water restrictions, which for three months have limited sprinkler
watering of Lackland lawns to two days a week, will end Sunday.

Normal conservation conditions will resume then because the aquifer's level at
the Bexar County index well by Sunday will have remained above the Stage I
trigger level for 10 consecutive days, said Lackland Water Program Manager Steve
Whatley, 37th Civil Engineer Squadron.

"Because of quite a bit of rain throughout the area for the past week and a
half," Mr. Whatley said, the aquifer's water level went above the Stage I
trigger level of 657.5 feet above sea level on Sept. 14 and has continued to
rise. Monday's level was 659.6 feet, and by Thursday, the level had risen to
660.6, a result of Sunday night's good rain.

Lackland and other local bases will be returning to normal conservation
practices, which mandate that "no person may waste water," and that landscape
watering with sprinklers "shall only be performed from 8 p.m. until 10 a.m." The
Water Conservation Plan allows watering with a hand-held garden hose or a 5-
gallon or smaller bucket any time of day for periods up to 15 minutes.

While local bases will return normal conditions, the city of San Antonio will
remain under its Stage I restrictions, which begin when the Edwards level falls
below 650 feet, but aren't lifted until the level stays above 650 feet for 30
days. The level didn't go back above 650 feet and stay above until Sept. 5.

Local bases follow rules under an agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service to preserve endangered species in springs at New Braunfels and San
Marcos. Bases are exempt from Edwards Aquifer Authority regulations that affect
the city.

For the first time in four years, Bexar bases entered Stage I restrictions June
11, more than a month before the city implemented its Stage I restrictions. The
city's Stage I began when the level dipped below 650 feet on July 20.

San Antonio and South Texas are in a 17-month drought that began in April 2005.
Weather forecasters are reluctant to say the drought has ended, but say future
weather patterns look promising.

Mr. Whatley said Lackland probably won't enter Stage I restrictions again this
year, "assuming we don't have another significant dry spell."