The Edwards Aquifer Authority could be issuing stage three pumping restrictions within the next few weeks, as the water level is dropping a quarter of a foot to a half a foot a day.
"Right now we're teetering on the brink of having to declare stage 3 for the region, and stage 3 reductions would mean a cut back on pumping from the aquifer by 35 percent," said Roland Ruiz, Interim General Manager for the Edwards Aquifer Authority.
That 35 percent water usage reduction directly applies to those who hold the right to pump from the Edwards Aquifer.
"That includes farmers who irrigate, that includes cities and municipalities like The City of San Antonio and SAWS (San Antonio Water Systems), and so across the region if we go to stage three everybody is going to fill the effects of that, because everybody is dependent on the aquifer for their everyday water use," said Ruiz.
This could prove especially problematic for corn irrigation farmers, who could have to plant crop into the fall to make up for corn shortages, and a continuing increase of corn prices.
"We do see that perhaps there may be additional corn crops planted for the fall, and if that's the case what we're likely to see is a continued demand for agricultural use, and that means demand on the aquifer," said Ruiz.
Stage 3 pumping restrictions kick in when the level of the J-17 well at Fort Sam Houston in Bexar County hits a 10-day average of 640 feet above mean sea level or Comal Springs falls to a 10-day level of 150 cubic feet per second (cfs)
On Tuesday, the J-17 Well read 628.6 ft. with a 10-day average of 640.1 ft. above sea level, and Comal Springs read at 174 cfs with a 10-day average of 171 cfs.