San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

March 17th, 2009
San Marcos meets water conservation goals

STAFF REPORT

The City of San Marcos is reporting that citizens are doing their part to help the city reach its water conservation goals.

Water use statistics for 2008 indicate that San Marcos residents used 122 gallons per person, per day, which is better than the city’s target of 133 gallons, and even better than the state’s goal of 140.

The Texas Water Development Board Conservation Task Force recommended to water utilities that they reduce per-capita use by one cent a year, until they reach the 140 gallon per person, per day, target

“We have improved on that goal significantly,” said San Marcos Director of Public Services Tom Taggart. “San Marcos residents tend to pay close attention to their water use, because of our rate structure that encourages conservation, and because they are aware of how dependent the San Marcos River is on spring flow and the Edwards Aquifer.”

San Marcos receives roughly 70-80 percent of its water supply from Canyon Lake, and pumps 20-30 percent from the Edwards Aquifer. Surface water is piped to the city from Canyon Lake via the Guadalupe River and a 20-mile pipeline. The water is then treated at the San Marcos Treatment Plant.

Pumping from the Edwards Aquifer in 2008 for San Marcos was 1,912 square-feet, which was only 35 percent of the 5,433 acre-feet the city has in aquifer water rights. San Marcos’ per-capita water use is less than Austin at 159 gallons per person, per day, for non industrial use. Per capita water use is 160 gallons gallons per day in New Braunfels and 139 gallons per day in San Antonio.

The total water production for San Marcos in 2008 was 7,287 acre feet from both surface and ground water sources. The city owns 11,183 acre feet surface and aquifer water rights.

San Marcos only received 17 inches of rain last year. The average is 37 inches. So far, the city has only seen 0.83 inches in 2009, which is already a deficit of 4.13 inches for January and February.

San Marcos has a year-round water ordinance that prohibits outdoor sprinkling from 10 a.m.to 8 p.m. The city also has a four-stage drought response plan, which is triggered when aquifer levels, or spring flows, drop to low levels.

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