Lake Levels: City Vs State

On Monday the City of Wichita Falls reported that their combined lake levels were at 31.6 percent. Now if you got your lake level information from the Texas Water Development Board, you would think our combined lake level percentage was at 28.6 percent. If we were going by the state then we would be in stage 4 drought restrictions, but we are still only in stage 3.

The Texas Water Development Board uses Lakes Arrowhead, Kickapoo, and Kemp to determine their combined lake level percentage for the city. They use all three because the city has ownership in all three. While the city only uses two out of the three.

Utilities Manager at the Cypress Water Treatment Plant Daniel Nix said "Wichita Falls only uses Lake Arrowhead and Lake Kickapoo to calculate a combined lake levels to trigger our drought levels. The majority of our treatment processes that we have here in Wichita Falls are dedicated to treating Lake Kickapoo and Lake Arrowhead water."

87 percent of the water treated in Wichita Falls comes from Lakes Kickapoo and Arrowhead which means only 13 percent comes from Lake Kemp. But that is not the only reason why the city decided to leave Lake Kemp out.

Nix said Lake Kemp could skew the lake level percentages because it has a larger water shed than Lake Kickapoo and Arrowhead. It has the ability to catch more rainfall and run that would lead to a higher lake level, while not as much of that water is being used.

If the city had to they would treat more water from Lake Kemp, but that's not as easy as it sounds.

"Treating Lake Kemp water can prove to be problematic," said Nix

It is also more expensive to process because it requires more power to treat the water.

But since the city doesn't own 100 percent of it, they are limited on how much water they can actually take out.

If the lake levels continue to decrease at the same rate they are now. Nix projects we will be in stage 4 by mid October.

James Parish, Newschannel 6