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Stage 2 Watering Restrictions Take Effect Next Week

Austin Water Utility

The City of Austin is implementing Stage 2 water restrictions starting Tuesday because of declining lake levels, but the rules will be slightly different than before.

“The combined lake levels between Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis has been the trigger,” Austin Water Utility spokesperson Jason Hill said. “It looks as if those two lakes combined will hit that 900,000 acre-foot trigger or go below it in the next week or so.”

The Lower Colorado River Authority says the lakes are currently 45 percent full and contain about 905,499 acre-feet of water. One acre-foot is enough water to cover an acre one-foot-deep in water. It amounts to 325,851 gallons, or enough to supply two to three households for a year.

You can see the new rules in the image above. One of the biggest changes is that people can use hose-end sprinklers until 10 a.m. Previously, that was only until 5 a.m. Automatic irrigation systems are still only permitted until 5 a.m.

Also, you can use soaker hoses on vegetable gardens any time of day. Same for automatic bubblers on trees or soaker hoses within the canopy drip line. And hand watering with a hose or watering can is allowed any time of day.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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