Our water experts continuously monitor the water supply and demand conditions to prepare for a potential water shortage. We’re committed to doing what’s necessary to manage a potential drought situation and meet our customers’ need for water. In order to conserve the available water supply and to protect the integrity of our water supply facilities, we have adopted regulations and restrictions on the delivery and consumption of water during a drought. Please read our User Drought Contingency Plan (PDF) to learn about what we’ll do to ensure a secure public water supply.
How are drought stages issued? Good question!
Let’s define a drought – droughts are long lengths of time in which the land has a decreased water supply. There are two main causes that can lead to us issuing drought restrictions.
Source 1: High customer demand
As neighborhoods use a lot of water for outdoor water uses, that can cause the water supply to be used up faster than it is being replenished. Because of this, it’s important to conserve water so there is a normal supply for daily domestic use.
Source 2: Required by our water source authority
To protect the water source (either a surface body of water or an aquifer) and our ability to manage our supply, regulatory authorities monitor the levels of the water sources and see if the sources are being recharged by rain or other factors.
If the regulatory authority notices the level of the water source is decreasing and being recharged, it notifies the utilities that use it’s water source.
Once we are informed of a drought level, we must reduce our water usage. You will be notified by text and/or email as well as on the back of your monthly bill.
From there, it’s up to all of us to reduce and conserve our water usage so that everyone has enough water for basic tasks.
Water Conservation is a Way of Life
Do your part to conserve our precious supplies by small, thoughtful changes in your daily activities and habits. Small changes, if done on a large scale, add up to a big change. Every drop counts and every person can make a difference. Check out our water conservation section.
Please be respectful of our water supplies and reduce the impact of drought and water shortages by conserving water.
How bad is the drought? See for yourself – a map of the Texas region from the U.S. Drought Monitor features areas of water shortages (new analysis released every Thursday).
Understanding Drought Water Usage Restrictions
The following applies to Texas customers of SouthWest Water-owned utilities. The User Drought Contingency Plan (UDCP) is a detailed document that outlines the restrictions in place for each drought stage and is meant to help you reduce the impact of drought and water shortages. There are five stages (as listed below), and whenever a neighborhood is under drought stage notice, you will be notified by text and/or email, as well as on the back of your monthly bill. Additional information will be listed on this web page.
- Stage 4 – Exceptional (40% Mandatory Reduction)
- Stage 3 – Critical (30% Mandatory Reduction)
- Stage 2 – Alarm (20% Mandatory Reduction)
- Stage 1 – Mandatory (10% Mandatory Reduction)
- Awareness – Voluntary (10% Voluntary Conservation)
Please review the User Drought Contingency Plan (PDF) for details on restrictions and protocols.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the additional conservation practices?
- Water garden, trees, flowers, or other landscaped areas with a handheld hose, a faucet-filled bucket or watering can any day between 6:00 PM to 10:00 AM, and avoid unattended hoses.
- Utilize soaker hoses anywhere except lawns from 8:00 PM to 10:00 AM
- Limit vehicle washing with a bucket or hand-held hose with automatic shut-off.
- Draw less water for bath or reduce shower time.
- Do not let the water run while shaving, dishwashing, brushing teeth, etc.
- Keep pools covered if not used on a daily basis.
- Use a water displacement device in the toilet tank.
- Install aerators on faucets.
- Utilize water reuse where possible.
- Replacement or retrofits with ultra-low flow fixtures is encouraged.
- Use a broom or blower instead of a hose to wash off driveways, sidewalks, or streets.
- Use Commercial Car Washes that recycle water.
- Take measures to prevent runoff at the property from reaching streets, sidewalks, or impervious areas.
How will I know if I’m under drought restrictions?
The neighborhood listed on this webpage will be updated frequently. You will also be notified with a full-page message on your bill and we will send notice by email and/or text message. To enroll to receive alerts, sign up or log in to your account at www.swwc.com/myaccount.
At what times can I water my lawn?
- Use of automatic irrigation systems and hose-end sprinkler(s) is limited between 12:01 AM to 4:00 AM; 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM; and 8:00 PM to 11:59 PM on the approved Watering Day Schedule.
- Irrigation of landscaped areas, such as gardens, trees, and flowers by hand-held hose, a faucet-filled bucket, a drip irrigation system, or a watering can of five (5) gallons or less is allowed any day between 12:01 AM to 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM to 11:59 PM.
- Use of soaker hoses on landscaped areas is allowed from 12:01 AM to 10:00 AM and 8:00 PM to 11:59 PM on the approved Watering Day Schedule.