SAWS Conservation: Drought Restrictions - Large Properties Variance Request
Aquifer Beaker

Edwards Aquifer

Aquifer Level 679.4'
7/16/19 - Official

The Edwards aquifer and its catchment area in the San Antonio region is about 8,000 square miles and includes all or part of 13 counties in south-central Texas.

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Year-Round Watering Hours

Watering with an irrigation system or sprinkler is allowed any day of the week before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m.

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Aquifer Level 679.4 | Year-Round Watering Hours

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Drought Restrictions

Large Properties Variance Request

SAWS considers watering variance requests for large landscapes on a very limited basis. In general, owners of large properties are expected to find ways to irrigate within their assigned watering day and time.

If your request is being considered for a variance, SAWS staff will make an appointment to visit the property and review the plan with the site manager.

To be considered for a variance, the applicant must:

  • Outline a viable strategy to significantly reduce total water use.
  • Demonstrate potential water savings by prioritizing zones and turning off zones with lower priority.

Information to include in a variance request:

  • Irrigation Analysis Form (zone-by-zone check of entire system) that includes precipitation rate for each zone or demonstration that you will only water 10 minutes for zones with spray nozzles or 20 minutes per zone with rotors.
  • Table with proposed irrigation schedule for each zone (included in the application package).
  • A list of zones that may be left dormant and not irrigated (to demonstrate conservation effort).
  • Signed statement from a licensed irrigator that all repair problems noted on analysis have been addressed (non-profit organizations may have site manager sign).

By requesting a variance you agree that:

  • Each zone will be watered only once per week
  • Total watering in each zone will be limited to one half inch per week

Submission of an application does NOT guarantee a variance. During the 2000 drought SAWS granted less than 10 variances for large landscapes.

Variances are never given for watering during the middle of the day; only requests for additional watering days will be considered.

Enforcement officers will be very familiar with each variance given and will watch for violations. Citations will be given for any observed violation of the variance agreement.