For the first time ever, the six county Edwards Aquifer region is under Stage Four water restrictions.
"We officially hit the trigger for Stage Four today, meaning the Aquifer level is below 630 feet," Terri Herbold, Communiations Manager for the Edwards Aquifer Authority, told Newsradio 1200 WOAI.
The Aquifer level this afternoon is actually at 628 feet and falling. This is the lowest the Aquifer has been since the major drought of the 1950s, and it indicates that, after four years of drought, the region's water situation is becoming dire.
"This means that all permit holders are required to make a 40% reduction in their pumping," Herbold said.
Permit holders including water companies like SAWS, as well as small town water companies, industrial water users, as well as farmer and ranchers, and individuals who get their water directly from wells.
The declaration of Stage Four does not impact San Antonio Water System customers. SAWS says it will remain in State Two restrictions.
The 'unprecedented' Aquifer restrictions indicate that the region is facing unprecedented challenges. In the 1950s, the last time a drought of this level occurred, the region's population was less than one third of what it is today.