Drought Watch: Nocona Is Close To Stage 5

Drought Watch: Nocona Is Close To Stage 5

The level of Lake Nocona is in such a steady decline that now the city of Nocona is about 30 days away from going into stage five water restrictions.

"I think we're in bad shape when you consider the shape of the lake and the creek that runs into it's bone dry," said a Nocona resident.

The lake has to drop to 817 feet for the restrictions to take effect. As of Friday morning --- the level is .56 feet from hitting that mark. But city council members Tom Horn and Bob Ferguson said the situation is not as bad as it sounds.

"Stage five and stage four, there's not a huge difference between the two. Just because we're calling it stage five there's no need to panic," said Ferguson.

He said,  the lake still has 47 percent of its capacity, so the biggest change in stage five will affect car washes.

They will have to remain closed at least twice a week and that's something some companies have chosen to do already. As for residents, they will continue to be allowed to water only once a day between certain hours.

"Of course any non-essential watering is not allowed and that's something like washing out your driveway or washing off your back porch or something like that," said Horn.

Now council members are preparing for the future. Ferguson and Horn said the city's water well has been a huge asset in their fight against the drought. That's why the council will consider drilling another one probably in the south part of town where there's more ground water. That project could cost the city more than $300,000.

The city has some funds from a grant that can be used for water development projects. They were planing on using those funds to repair the water line from the lake but now they might use them to pay for a new well. The council will meet on Tuesday, August 13th to discuss all possible options.

Council members also said, residents have done a very good job at cutting back on water consumption. In fact, in an average summer Nocona uses up to 1.6 million gallons of water a day and this summer residents have used about a million gallons less.

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6