SAWS remains in Stage 2 with stricter enforcement

Additional patrols authorized for watering rules violators

San Antonio Water System customers have been in Stage 2 watering rules since April, and despite differing stages from the Edwards Aquifer Authority, there are no foreseeable outdoor watering changes for SAWS customers.

The utility continues to educate and remind customers about Stage 2 rules – and those who don’t comply with the rules can receive a citation with municipal fines costing about $150 for first-time offenses. So far this year, increased patrolling around the clock has resulted in more than 1,200 citations being issued so far.

“We have been patrolling neighborhoods, including gated communities, in an effort to enforce compliance with Stage 2,” said Karen Guz, SAWS director of conservation. “We’re past the point of issuing warnings; anyone caught wasting water or breaking Stage 2 watering rules will receive a citation.”

SAWS’ water supply portfolio consists of 15 water projects from nine different sources. The utility’s diverse non-Edwards Aquifer water supplies such as the Vista Ridge Project, stored water at the Aquifer Storage and Recovery site and customer compliance with Stage 2 rules will make up for the reduced Edwards pumping requirements from EAA that affect pumpers only.

The EAA pumping cutbacks, which were triggered last month when the 10-day average of the J-17 well reached 640 feet, have not affected SAWS customers at this time since SAWS has demonstrated that it can meet cutbacks without stricter rules.

“Our community is better equipped to handle widespread drought and avoid a water crisis because of strategies that we’ve initiated over the past 15 years,” said Robert R. Puente, SAWS president and CEO. “We’ve created a culture of water stewardship and conservation that is making the community water secure, while demonstrating what could be a model for other cities.

“We have been through this before and have not needed to go into Stage 3,” he continued. “We can manage this again together if everyone complies to the watering rules.”

SAWS has significantly diversified San Antonio’s water supplies and now the Edwards Aquifer represents only about half of our available drinking water because it is just one of the utilities’ nine water sources.

According to the city’s Aquifer Management Plan ordinance, coming out of drought stages can be considered 15 days after the aquifer is above the trigger level. More information on Stage 2 is at

Watering days stay 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 your designated day. Watering with a hand-held hose is still allowed any time on any day.

0 or 1 – Monday
2 or 3 – Tuesday
4 or 5 – Wednesday
6 or 7 – Thursday
8 or 9 – Friday

SAWS customers can take advantage of SAWS WaterSaver coupons and rebates to spruce up their yards and save money while saving water. Learn more at

Stage 2 - Water Wisely. Before you water: 1. Know your day 2. Check the time