NBU consistently monitors multiple climate and utility operating system factors to prepare for and understand the severity of each drought we face.
In Stage 2, watering with a sprinkler or irrigation system is allowed one day per week based on the last digit of your address BEFORE 10:00 a.m. and AFTER 8:00 p.m.
- New Braunfels is in Stage 2 due to factors defined in the City Code of Ordinances and by the Edwards Aquifer Authority. Two of the primary water resources NBU draws from, the Edwards Aquifer and Comal River, are within the range requiring NBU to reduce pumping.
In short, we don’t. The drought restrictions in New Braunfels are comparable with other water purveyors in the area when reviewing various levels of restrictions. The difference is that the drought has been exceptionally severe in Comal County as documented by the US Drought Monitor and other areas may not have needed to implement further drought restrictions. Additionally, New Braunfels is uniquely responsible for protecting local river spring flows, providing habitat to endangered species, and economic benefit to the local community.
- New Braunfels Utilities reviews short and long term weather forecasts constantly. What we know is that the three year La Nina cycle that just ended caused our area to be warmer and drier on average. The National Weather Service (NWS) has recently announced that an El Niño-Southern Oscillation neutral cycle will be in place through the summer, which means New Braunfels should begin to see closer to our average rainfall and temperatures. The NWS is also predicting an El Nino system to develop in the fall, which indicates rainfall amounts that are above average.
- The rains that fall are always welcome, but where it falls can impact our drought factors. If the rain falls over New Braunfels, the NBU infrastructure should, in theory, see less of a demand (i.e. rain sensors should turn off irrigation, homeowners decide not to water grass). If the rain falls more towards the Hill Country over the recharge zone, the supply should increase. Ultimately, we need both, but recent rainfall has fallen south of our area and has had little impact on either supply or demand.
When NBU is in a non-drought period, use of a handheld hose, drip irrigation system, soaker hose that does not spray water in the air, or a five-gallon bucket is allowed at any time on any day. All landscape watering, including residential, commercial, and public landscapes, must comply with the Water Conservation and Drought Management Plan. During Stage 1, 2, or 3, foundations may be watered up to two hours on any day during watering times, by handheld hose, or using a soaker hose, or drip system placed within 24 inches of the foundation, that does not produce a spray of water above the ground.
If Stage 1, 2, or 3 is in place, you may only wash your vehicle on assigned watering days and times, over a pervious surface using a handheld hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle or a five-gallon bucket. You may hold a charity car wash; however, it must be at a commercial car wash facility. Local car washes may be willing to work with nonprofit organizations. Contact these businesses directly to discuss your group’s request.
If water levels remain at or below a drought stage for a rolling 10-day average, NBU may declare the next stage and can consider terminating a drought stage once the trigger level is above a stage for 15 consecutive calendar days.
Water waste is also considered a violation of the city ordinance. Water waste includes:
- Running down a street or other impervious surface
- Failure to repair a controllable leak on property
- Watering landscaped areas during rain or high wind
- Using pressure washing or hose on impervious surfaces during any drought stage, except to remove spills of hazardous materials or eliminate dangerous conditions that threaten public health, safety, or welfare, or to prepare a surface for maintenance work
- Using a pressure washer or hose without an automatic shut-off valve for washing buildings, houses, cars , or other items
Our Conservation and Customer Solutions department can provide you with tips for indoor and outdoor use and is available to conduct free water assessments and conservation reports to help identify areas where you may be able to realize savings in water use.