Drought FAQ

Notification of District drought status will occur in the following ways:

  • Staff will immediately notify all non-exempt (non-domestic) use permittees of the declaration via email and US postal mail. These communications will contain information about curtailments, usage, and conservation practices. If a permittee needs a copy of their User Drought Contingency Plan and/or Drought Target Chart, please contact Regulatory Compliance staff at (512) 282-8441 or eswanson@bseacd.org.
  • District website homepage and banner
  • District Drought Information & Resources page
  • Districts’ social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn 
  • Drought signs will be placed in many, but not all, neighborhoods known to be on exempt wells

Additionally, you can sign up for District press releases and newsletters here to get the latest District drought information. The District sends subscribers monthly drought updates and press releases whenever a drought declaration is made or if we lift drought restrictions.

Exempt well owners are not subject to mandatory drought restrictions, but all well owners are encouraged to conserve water. especially during drought.


The District has a special class of domestic-well owners that hold Limited Production Permits (LPP). LPPs are also not subject to mandatory drought restrictions but will adopt the recommended drought stage measures outlined in the user conservation plan that they agreed to during the application process. If you are a LPP holder and need a copy of the user conservation plan or interested in reviewing the drought and conservation measures, clickhere.


While exempt users (e.g. private-well owners) don’t sign a user conservation plan, it is highly recommended that they adopt the same measures outlined in an LPP user conservation plan. 

The type of permit held, not the aquifer the well is completed within, affects which restrictions you have on your well. The District has issued both Historical and Conditional permits. Declaration of drought requires all non-domestic use District permittees to implement mandatory measures specified in their User Drought Contingency Plans (UDCPs) to meet monthly pumpage requirements. Curtailments for Stage IV Exceptional Drought are listed below and depend on permit type. For some of these permits, curtailment rates will increase if the District descends into the next stage of drought.   

  • 30% for Trinity and Alluvial/Austin Chalk Historical permittees
  • 40% for Edwards Historical
  • 50% for Edwards Conditional Class A permittees
  • 100% for Edwards Conditional Class B permittees
  • 100% for Edwards Conditional Class C and Class D permittees


You can find curtailments for all drought stages here. If a permittee needs copies of their UDCP and/or Drought Target Chart, please contact Regulatory Compliance staff at (512) 282-8441 or eswanson@bseacd.org. 

The District does not have a watering schedule because we do not sell or provide water to end users. The District requires permittees to implement practices outlined in their UDCP to ensure that they comply with their required curtailments.


If a permittee needs copies of their UDCP and/or Drought Target Chart, please contact Regulatory Compliance staff at (512) 282-8441 or ewanson@bseacd.org. 

Ratepayers that are served by municipal water utility or other types of water providers are required to follow utility rules regardless of where the provider sources its water. Utilities often declare drought at different times than when the District does. 
If a permittee is deemed non-compliant during drought for over pumping their allotment, the District may pursue enforcement and assess penalties pursuant the District’s Enforcement Plan. 
The only way to end drought is with significant, widespread rainfall. One or more of these weather events may be required to recharge the aquifers and raise groundwater levels/spring flow above drought levels
Barton Springs flow and Lovelady monitor well groundwater levels are the two determinants for the District’s drought statusBoth sites have pre-determined drought threshold for each stage of drought. Only one of the two monitor sites need to cross a threshold for a drought declaration to be made. To exit a drought stage though, both Barton Springs and Lovelady must rise above their respective drought trigger levels. Please visit ourdrought status page for current conditions. 
Water levels in karst aquifers, such as the Edwards and Trinity aquifers, fluctuate due to drought, seasonal variations, and pumping. 
Often, if a well stops producing water because of declining water levels, the well is not completely dryRather the water level has dropped below the pump, which is often set 50 feet or more above the bottom of the well borehole. Wells completed in shallower aquifer units are more directly influenced by lack of rainfall and drought than wells completed in deeper units. Because of this, shallower wells are generally more susceptible to impacts from declining water levels than deeper wells. A well log can provide more information about your well depth and in which aquifer the well is completed.
In most cases, a well service professional will need to be contacted to verify that a given well has gone dry. District staff can provide referrals to well professionals in your area. You may also contact the District to inquire about changes in water levels in your area and in your aquifer. Depending on circumstances, staff may be able to check water levels in your well.  

It’s important to first determine if your well is being affected by an issue related to well maintenance, construction, or pump mechanics. Wells and their components require periodic maintenance and/or replacement. In most cases, wells do not go permanently dry but no longer produce due to construction deficiencies, lack of maintenance, or pump issues.


A homeowner should first call a licensed well driller and pump installer to assess the well. If you do not have a water well company you work with already, you can find one on our list of the companies that have worked with the District here or The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) maintains a list of licensed well drillers and pump installers here. Steps you can take to check if your well has gone dry include: 


  • Conserve water and reduce your pumping rate to let your well recover. Certain aquifers are less permeable and more drought prone. Wells drilled into those aquifers can be low yielding and may take longer to recover or refill. Installing a water meter can also help you assess how much water you are using. 
  • Monitor and protect your pump. Low water levels can cause pumps to overheat and make your pump cycle on and off which can burn out the motor. If your pump is rapidly cycling on and off, turn it off. Installing an automatic low-flow shutoff switch, or a pump saver, can also protect your pump. 
  • Add a water storage tank if you have low or fluctuating yield. Adding a storage tank will help meet peak demand and help you maintain a steady water supply. It can also extend the life of your pump, help dissipate sulfur odors, and settle any sediment. 
  • If your pump sounds like it is sucking air, let it rest. Indications that your well may be experiencing problems due to declining water levels and drought include a drop in water pressure, the well may begin to produce sediment and/or air bubbles, and you may notice “dirty” or milky looking tap water that clears after a short time.


If it appears your well has indeed gone dry for the time being, please fill out this form 

Getting more water will depend on your well. First, we recommend contacting your water well driller or pump installer. If you do not have a water well company you work with already, you can find one here. Once they have evaluated your well, they can provide an assessment of what the options are for getting you more water out of your well.


Options may include: 

  • Lowering the pump. Usually the well is not dry, but the water level has declined below the pump and the pump needs to be lowered. In most cases getting more water could be as simple as having your well company set the pump lower in the well column so it is low enough to remain in water during times of drought. A driller or pump installer can help determine if the well is deeper than where the pump is set and if lowering the pump will address the issue. 
  • Deepening your existing well or drilling a new, deeper well. If it is determined your pump cannot be lowered and you are interested in deepening your well or drilling a new well, you should contact your well driller. It is important to note that deepening of your well may not be practical depending on the condition of your well. 
  • Install a storage tank. Keep this filled by hauling water in until the drought ends.
  • Harvest rainwater. This would serve as an alternative supply when drought occurs. 
If you want to report a water shortage, please let us know by calling (512) 282-8441 or emailing bseacd@bseacd.org. To report your well going dry, please complete this form.  
To date, there is no evidence of significant impacts to groundwater quality during periods of drought.  
We depend on outside sources, such as the US Climate Prediction Center, for evaluating future climate conditions. However, none of these sources can predict how severe the drought might be beyond the next few months. Speculating beyond that is very complex. 
The District has over 40 wells that record hourly water levels in the Edwards and Trinity aquifers across our territory. Staff is currently working to provide updated hydrographs for these monitor wells on our website. Visit our interactive map on ourMonitoring Wells & Aquifer Data for more information. 

Electro Purification LLC (EP) submitted a production permit application in July 2017. Their permit application was contested and it never reached the District’s Board of Directors for a decision. To date a production permit has not been issued and is not pumping from their wells. The District recently learned that EP has terminated their corporate existence.