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Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Open 9 to 6 Mon. through Sat.
and 10 to 5 on Sun.

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.

Click here

 Primetime Newspapers
By Calvin R. Finch, PhD,
SAWS Water Resources Director, and Horticulturist
Week of May 8, 2006 
“Drought Restrictions Predicted May 27, 2006”


            Karen Guz, SAWS Water Conservation Director, reports that about 60 water waste violations are being reported every week.  The two main violations are for watering between 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., and for water running down the road.  In San Antonio, and most communities in our area, both are misdemeanor offenses punishable by a fine of $50 - $250 for the first violation.  In most cases, however, SAWS’ Conservation Enforcement Officers do not give a citation on the first offense.  Businesses and homeowners are notified that a water waste violation has been reported and the individual is asked to change the behavior so the violation will not occur again.  In situations where the violation continues, the Conservation Enforcement Officers put the address on the Water Waster list.  If the behavior is witnessed again by the Officer the ticket is written. 

            If the dry weather continues, the Edwards Aquifer level at the J-17 well is expected to fall to 650 feet MSL on or about May 27, 2006.  At that time, the area will go into Stage I Drought Restrictions.  The main Restriction imposed is that everyone may only water their landscapes with sprinklers one day a week based on address.  The restriction makes it harder to irrigate your lawn, but it is still easy to have green, healthy grass.  Several years of research to develop the Seasonal Irrigation Program (SIP) made it clear that most lawns in South Texas survive well on irrigation once per week.  Even in Stage III when the Aquifer level falls to 630 feet and watering is limited to once every two weeks, most lawns will survive.  The Stage I Restrictions are designed to reduce water use by 15%.  In 2000, we never reached Stage III, someday we might.  Stage III is designed to reduce water use another 15%. 

            You may be asking, “We are paying a water resource surcharge, will we every have enough water to eliminate drought restrictions?”  The answer is, “it depends how much we are willing to pay.”  We need new water just to replace the Edwards water that is being reduced in order to protect endangered species and to provide a share of water to the folks (farmers, downstream interests) who rely on the Edwards Aquifer.  We also are seeking new water resources to meet the needs for future generations.  San Antonio is growing at 2% per year or more.  Since the early 90’s, water conservation has kept our water needs met.  Recently, the addition of the Aquifer Storage and Recovery facility and recycled water have made our water supplies go further, but all of those sources, important as they are, will not meet our future needs.  We expect the savings due to water conservation to level off in 2016 when we reach a per capita use of 116 gallons/person/day.

The questions becomes, should we seek to have enough water available to meet our water needs in the future, even if we are in drought, or should wesave a bunch of money and use drought restrictions for emergencies?  The new water resources are much more expensive than Edwards water (as much 10 – 12 times as much).  To have that 30% extra water for lawns when it is droughty is very expensive.  Since lawns can survive with watering every two weeks and a 30% reduction overall, to many people it makes sense to always rely on drought restrictions instead of excessive amounts of expensive water.