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Wichita Falls Enters Stage 5 Drought Catastrophe

Drought Drying Up Wichita Falls Water Supply
Credit: Flickr/Mark Sinderson

We’ve known for some time this day would come.  The combined total of Lake Arrowhead and Lake Kickapoo has reached the 25 percent mark.  This means Stage 5 drought restrictions will now go into effect beginning on Saturday.  While, according to the latest water tracker data, overall usage has fallen from April to May, lake levels have continued to drop.  And while rain has fallen in the water shed area for Arrowhead and Kickapoo, the extremely dry soil is soaking up the rainfall quickly preventing substantial run-off.

If you’re thinking about topping off that swimming pool for the soon-to-arrive hot summer weather, think again.  Surcharges for exceeding 10 units per month also go up and, if you’re a heavy water user, you might want to call your banker.  Water in the Falls is about to get very, very costly for the heavy user.  Testing continues on the water reuse project that will add a net 5 million gallons of water to the city’s supply from treated waste water that will be piped to the city’s MF/RO plant.  But that additional supply is at least another 45 days away from approved use while the TCEQ continues its revue.  Here’s the official press release from the City of Wichita Falls:

Wichita Falls, Texas- The combined levels of Lake Arrowhead and Lake Kickapoo have dropped below 25%. In accordance with the City’s Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan, Stage 5 Drought Catastrophe water restrictions must be implemented. All current water use restrictions will remain in place (Stage 1-4 restrictions) and the following additional restrictions will become effective Saturday May 17th.

  • No refilling of outdoor pools using City water,
  • Commercial Car washes will not be allowed to use water from the City’s water system on Sunday and Monday,
  • Surcharges are increased.

For a complete list of restrictions and surcharges go to the City’s website. Stage 5 restrictions only apply to water used from the City’s water system. Alternate supplies of water from wells, reclaimed water, or other sources are exempt from the restrictions.

For questions please contact the Public Works Department 761-7477.

NEXT: How Much Rain Does Wichita Falls Need to End the Drought?

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