Drought Watch: Landscapers Among Those Hit Hardest With New Rest - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Drought Watch: Landscapers Among Those Hit Hardest With New Restrictions

Beginning Saturday, there will be a complete ban on outside irrigation for Wichita Falls residents due to Stage 4 Drought Disaster restrictions.  Landscaping businesses who rely on irrigation are already feeling the effects of the changes.

"It's rough, pretty rough in this day and time. It does take a lot of toll on you," said Donnie Long, owner of Longo Stone, Rock and Landscape.

Just like other landscapers, Long, who has been in the business for 26 years is trying to hold on.

"Back in the day when we had water it was nice to plant anything you wanted. But it's not going to happen anymore unless we get some rain," he said.

With no rain in sight, Long has had to come up with ways to try and keep his business afloat.

"We're trying to focus on using gravel, river rocks and stone. Also plants that really look nice in the landscape and thrive in the desert welding areas," he said.

Landscape ideas from Arizona and New Mexico are also being incorporated to adjust customer's yards to the current drought conditions.

"We need to get down to the nitty-gritty and start landscaping from zero and changing it," said Long.

However, landscapers can only do so much for their business. Now more than ever, Long along with many others is hoping for rain to fall from the sky.

"All we can do is just wait. Hopefully we can get through this all together," he said.

Long's business Longo Stone, Rock and Landscape employs 22 people. His main focus after the new restrictions go into effect is to try and keep all of his employees who have families to support.

Landscapers believe if stage 4 restrictions continue until April 2014, the impact on the industry is going to be over the top, something that may become impossible to get back.


Cynthia Kobayashi, Newschannel Six.

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