Drought Watch: Burkburnett Faces Deadline

Drought Watch: Burkburnett Faces Deadline

The City of Burkburnett was given two weeks to drastically reduce their water consumption from Wichita Falls or face having their water flow restricted. But, there seems to be some confusion regarding water use reduction numbers from Burkburnett and numbers that Wichita Falls Officials have seen.

Burkburnett buys about 25 percent of their water from Wichita Falls. Out of a dozen wholesale customers, Burkburnett is falling very short of their water reduction responsibilities.

"We didn't see any increase in reduction as we went into the first part of stage three. That's why we looked at it, evaluated it, gave it time to, for the residents to implement those changes and react to it, and we still didn't see that reduction so we changed our stage three," said Tim James, City Manager for Burkburnett.

Wichita Falls has given Burkburnett until June 15th to reduce their consumption of water from Wichita Falls by 35 percent. In the month of April, Burk's reduction was only one percent. James says, Burk residents have dramatically reduced their average overall consumption.

"Right now we're tracking a reduction where we're going to end up over two weeks we don't really know it depends on consumption. But, we have seen a reduction the past five days, we're preliminary into it. And we coordinate very closely with Wichita Falls and they're aware, so they're aware of where we are and what we're looking at," said James.

Burkburnett relies mostly on water from their well fields. With only 68 wells in service and not all of them working efficiently, James was asked how many other wells Burkburnett had that aren't in use.

"We've had through time, some of the wells we use to have had more. But, they've experienced either failures over time or different things that they've been taken out of service," said James.

James said he didn't know how many wells are in Burk, however they are working to fix the wells in service. The city recently purchased five-hundred acres of land to build 25 more wells. If a drastic reduction is not seen by the 15th of June, Wichita Falls will restrict flow to Burk's pipeline to force that 35 percent reduction.

"If they do cut off that supply, what will that mean for Burk residents or the Burk water supply?" asked Newschannel Six Reporter Jenyne Donaldson. "Well, you would have to ask them (Wichita Falls)." replied James.

The City of Burkburnett is scrambling to figure how to reduce their water consumption. In a meeting scheduled for June 17th, the Board of Commissioners will discuss additional changes to stage three restrictions and the possibility of entering into stage four restrictions.

Jenyne Donaldson, Newschannel Six.