Don’t Worry, Water Smart

Though it’s been a while, San Antonians are no strangers to drought restrictions. Watering smart is the best way to maintain your landscape and adhere to the city’s conservation ordinance.

Recently, San Antonio Water System customers had to say goodbye to the flexibility of year-round watering and say hello again to Drought Restrictions .

During Stage One you may water with an irrigation system or hose-end sprinklers once a week before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on a designated watering day, as determined by the last digit of your address.

  • 0 or 1 – Monday
  • 2 or 3 – Tuesday
  • 4 or 5 – Wednesday
  • 6 or 7 – Thursday
  • 8 or 9 – Friday

Only hand watering is allowed on the weekend.

If hot, dry weather persists and the aquifer level continues a steady decline, we can anticipate entering stricter regulations soon. Still, San Antonians have been through this before and have become very water-smart as a result.

Here are a few simple ways you can be water-smart with landscape irrigation:

Schedule your irrigation system wisely. An irrigation system can be very water-demanding even when it’s properly scheduled. Make sure you’re within the law.

  • Adjust the watering schedule so you’re ONLY watering on your permitted day.
  • Set your controller to water during Stage One permitted times — before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m. The obvious point here is that each watering day BEGINS and ENDS at MIDNIGHT; overnight watering is not allowed.
  • For help on irrigation controller setup, check out our DIY videos, or call to set up a FREE irrigation consultation with one of our expert conservation consultants by calling 210-704-SAVE (7283) or emailing .

Keep an eye on the weather as it can be unpredictable — just recently, we received our monthly average in one day! Landscape requirements vary based on the weather.

  • You can easily turn your irrigation system OFF and ON as needed. There’s absolutely NO COST to do this. You’d be surprised how many homeowners and apartment managers fail to walk out in the morning and take a few seconds to switch their system to OFF. Those seconds will save you water and money.
  • Enroll now for the weekly e-newsletter at for the Current Watering Advice and gardening tips to maintain your landscape and save water.

Plan now for possible future restrictions.

  • Since most residential landscapes never need more than eight hours of irrigation, go ahead and set your irrigation system in accordance with Stage Two restrictions — that is, only 7-11 a.m. and 7-11 p.m. The watering day will not change, but the hours when you can water with your irrigation system or hose-end sprinkler are limited.

Once again, if you need help programming your irrigation system, call to set up a FREE irrigation consultation with one of our expert conservation consultants at 210-704-SAVE (7283) or email us.

By watering smart, your landscape will get the water it needs, keep you within the limits of the law, and conserve a precious resource for the community.

Picture of Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson was a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System before retiring. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you're likely to find him hiking San Antonio's wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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