Conserve Water in The Summer Heat

Water restrictions could be around the corner in Wichita Falls.

Newschannel 6 has learned that our lake levels are extremely close to the mark that would implement water restrictions for parts of Texoma.

The city of Wichita Falls relies on rainfall to build its water source at Lakes Kickapoo and Arrowhead.  But with no rain and daily triple digit temperatures, that water source is struggling.

When Wichita Falls water sources decrease below a certain level, a drought contingency plan will be triggered.

City leaders say Wichita Falls is not far from entering stage one of that emergency drought contingency plan.  Reaching a stage one drought watch is something city officials have not seen since 2007.

Daniel Nix, Operations Manager of Public Utilities in Wichita Falls, says "without any significant rainfall I do expect that before the summer is over, the citizens will see the city trigger a stage one drought watch."

With a stage one in affect the city will go into a voluntary drought watch.  That could happen when the combined water levels from Lake Kickapoo and Lake Arrowhead decrease below 60 percent.

As of Thursday, lake levels are at 67% and the water level is falling fast.

Nix says, "as we've gotten into this 20, 30 day stretch of 100 degree temperatures and high winds, that evaporation rate has gone up at the lake so we are seeing a larger decrease."

The city has plans in place if lake levels fall even further.  It was just in the year 2000 when lake levels fell below 50%, which would bring mandatory restrictions.

But for things to improve officials say rain is the answer.

Daniel Nix says the city of Wichita Falls uses around 40-50 million gallons of water per day in the summer months.  Nix says 14 million of those gallons come from sanitation and health uses. The remaining come from landscaping, washing cars, or filling up swimming pools.

Click here for tips on easy ways to conserve water.

Click here to check lake levels

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6