Change in Drought Status – Stage IV Exceptional to Stage III Critical

At its regular meeting on February 8, 2024, the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to change the drought status from Stage IV Exceptional to Stage III Critical Drought, effective immediately. The current conditions of the District’s drought triggers have been verified and indicate that both Barton Springs and the Lovelady Monitor Well are above their respective triggers for Stage IV Exceptional Drought, therefore warranting the declaration of the less severe drought stage.

The improved conditions warrant the relaxing of some drought restrictions; however, the declaration of a Stage III Critical Drought requires continued attention to the provisions of your User Drought Contingency Plan (UDCP). Under Stage III Critical Drought during February and until a change in drought-stage status, permittees are required to implement the mandatory measures in their UDCPs to reduce their monthly pumpage by:

    • 30% for Edwards Historical and Conditional Class A permittees,es
    • 75% for Edwards Conditional Class B permittees,
    • 100% for Edwards Conditional Class C and Class D permittees, and
    • 30% for Trinity and Alluvial/Austin Chalk Historical permittees

While in Stage III Critical Drought, your monthly pumpage reports will continue to be evaluated against your monthly pumpage limits as specified in your UDCPs. It is imperative that all permittees continue to submit timely monthly meter readings (between the 1st and 5th of each month) in order to ensure an accurate report of monthly pumpage. District staff will be required to collect meters readings and assess a penalty fee of $100 – $120 for collection if not received by the reporting deadline.

Staff will also continue to assess drought management fees to those permittees with permitted pumpage greater than 2,000,000 gallons/year for every month that their actual pumpage exceeds the curtailed monthly pumping limits by more than 5%.

If you have any questions or comments related to drought curtailments, management fees or other drought requirements, or if you would like more information about current aquifer conditions or water conservation tips, check the District’s website at or call our staff at (512) 282-8441. Thank you for your cooperation.