City officials want residents to be more conservative when they water their lawns and to perform that task either early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid unnecessary evaporation.

The recommendation comes as the city initiates Stage 1 of its drought contingency plan Thursday because the Guadalupe River flow has fallen below its normal level for this time of year.

Under Stage 1 of the plan, residents are asked to voluntarily reduce water use for nonessential purposes and to practice water conservation measures to reduce the amount of water they consume, according to a city news release.

Other water conservation practices include:

  • Use a lawn sprinkler that produces large drops of water, rather than a fine mist, to avoid evaporation.
  • To avoid evaporation, turn soaker hoses so the holes are on the bottom.
  • Water slowly for better absorption and never water on windy days.
  • Avoid watering the street, sidewalks or driveways.
  • Do not water too frequently. Too much water can overload the soil so that air cannot get to the roots, which can lead to diseases in plants.
  • Do not over-water. Soil can absorb only so much moisture, and the rest simply runs off. An inch of water, applied once a week, will keep most Texas grasses alive and healthy.
  • Raise the cutting height on your lawnmower. The longer blades of grass will provide shade for the root system and make the turf more drought-resistant.

The city will remain in Stage 1 of its drought contingency plan until the flow of the Guadalupe River rises to a normal level for 14 consecutive days or until the river level falls to its minimum level for this time of the year, which would cause the city to enter Stage 2.

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