The metro San Antonio region is beginning the warm weather months with our water supply at its lowest level in more than 55 years, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Despite a relatively damp winter, the Aquifer today sits at 639 feet. That is eight feet lower than it was on April 2 of 2013, and a full 27 feet below the historic level for early April.
"The Aquifer right now has not been this low since the drought of the 1950s," Anne Hayden, a spokeswoman for the San Antonio Water System, told 1200 WOAI news.
She says due to the region's dire situation, conservation is needed now more than ever.
"People sometimes forget that we are still in Stage Two water restrictions," she said. "People sometimes think, it's been so long, it must be over. But it's not."
This is the first time ever that the region has entered the spring planting and watering season having been in Stage Two restrictions the entire year. Stage Two as imposed in early 2013.
Hayden says there are additional protections in place today which officials hope will avoid the necessity of imposing unprecedented Stage Three restrictions this year, mainly the Aquifer Storage and Recovery Facility, an underground cave southwest of San Antonio which currently stores 2.6 billion gallons.
"That is well over two years worth of supply," Hayden said.
But she pointed out that the facility can only release 40 million gallons per day to the size of the pipes, and that is far less than the city needs, so conservation is needed more than ever.
"If we can get the kind of well-times rains that we received last year, we could well get through this year without needing Stage Three restrictions," she said.
But she says conservation efforts will have to be ratcheted up even more to meet the most serious water crisis this region has ever faced.