AUSTIN (KXAN) — In a memo to Austin council members, Austin Water’s interim director said staff anticipates drought response stage one regulations will be triggered “in the near future.”

This would be the first water restriction stage since November 2018 when Austin entered its base water conservation stage.

The combined storage of Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis will soon fall below 1.4 million acre-feet, which will trigger the regulations, interim director Robert Goode wrote in the May 20 memo. Lake Travis is at its lowest level since 2015 at about 16 feet below average.

The main change under state one restrictions is the reduction of automatic irrigation hours, the memo said. Hours will be limited to between 7 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Austin Water said it would inform Austin residents of “the impending declaration” through press releases, social media, radio and television announcements and website updates.

What happens in stage one regulations?

According to the memo, here’s what stage one restrictions include:

  • Customers continue the once-per-week watering schedule for automatic irrigation.
  • Customers continue the twice-per-week watering schedule for hose watering.
  • The number of available watering hours reduces from 15 hours to 13 hours. This includes hours from midnight to 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. to midnight.
  • These watering types have no restrictions: athletic field watering; drip irrigation; hand-held watering with hose; watering trees with automatic bubblers; automatic drip irrigation or with a soaker hose beneath the tree canopy and in vegetable gardens.
  • Commercial customers continue limiting the use of patio misters between 4 p.m. and midnight.
  • Commercial car washes can operate normally.
  • Residential car washes and outdoor surface washing are allowed with a positive shut-off valve or a bucket.