Henrietta Faces Severe Water Shortage Conditions

Another Texoma city is falling ill to the drought.  Henrietta stepped up its restrictions from Stage 1 last month to Stage 3 this month.  The city is under severe water shortage conditions.  Henrietta hopes to reduce daily water demand by 10 to 15 percent.  The city receives its water from Lake Arrowhead and as the lake dwindles down so does their supply for water.

On this hot Tuesday afternoon Glen Wilfong counts away at all the plants he's lost in the Texas drought.

"Rose bushes are burning, shrubs, trees, just look up and down the street."

The mixed tone of yellow and brown; a common site across Texoma.

"It's very critical.  I see over here at the tower at that building every evening they're lined up 5 even 10 deep getting water," he said.

Keith Phillips is one of those people.  He was at the city's dock water station, filling up a 1,000 gallon tank.  Once it's full he'll drive out to his ranch and put in another tank for his horses and head back out two more times.

"One-hundred dollars a week to bring in water when normally it's raining and I catch water from the rain and we also have a well that's completely dry."

Plants and lakes are drying up and doing so quickly, that's why the City of Henrietta went from Stage 1 restrictions straight to Stage 3, limiting days and hours residents can water.

"Even number of addresses watering on even, odd watering on odd and you can't water between 10am and 6pm," said City Manager Kelley Bloodworth.

The city receives its water from Lake Arrowhead which then transfers over to a reservoir in Henrietta.

"We are only allowed so many releases a year.  We only have two releases left," she said.

Which means drastic Stage 4 restrictions are possible.  If Henrietta goes to Stage 4 water restrictions that would mean a goal of 15 to 20 percent reduction in water.  Watering driveways, homes, vehicles, and the filling up of pools would be prohibited.  Irrigation of landscape would be severely restricted.

Glen Wilfong says that every Tuesday evening at 7pm about 40 to 50 residents gather at the front lawn on the courthouse to pray for rain.  He invites any citizens to join them next Tuesday.

Henrietta Stage 3 restrictions are as follows:

(a) Residences with odd number addresses may water on odd-numbered days; same goes for even numbered addresses.

All outdoor irrigation by hose-end sprinklers, automatic sprinkler system, soaker hoses, or drip irrigation may occur only between 12 midnight to 10am and 6pm to 12 midnight on designated outdoor water use day.  Irrigation by hand-held hoses or buckets is permitted anytime.

The washing of vehicles, trailers, any mobile equipment is prohibited except on designated water use days between 12 midnight to 10am and 6pm to 12 midnight.  This restriction does not apply on premises of commercial carwashes.

Use of water to fill, refill or add to a swimming pool or jacuzzi-type pool is prohibited except on designated irrigation days between the hours of midnight to 10am and 6pm to midnight.

Click here to see a full list of Texoma cities facing water restrictions.

Crystal Hall Newschannel 6.