Drought Watch: Coming Out of Stage 4

Stage 4: Drought Disaster restrictions go into effect on Saturday, November 16. The combined lake levels are at 30.0 percent, but what if the lake levels go back above 30 percent next week. Would we go back into Stage 3?

Wichita Falls Utilities Operation Manager Dan Nix said "More than likely we would not. We have a procedure written in our drought plan on how we come into and out of drought triggers."

Some residents agree with the city that we should stay in Stage 4.

Wichita Falls resident Joseph Contreas said "We should stay in Stage 4 and not flip flop back and forth."

Another concerned resident John Anthony Gaitan said "I think we should stay [in Stage 4] to be safe."

Entering a drought stage is easy. Any stage can be triggered by Wichita Falls Public Works Director Russell Schreiber. Drought triggers need to be initiated quickly, but coming out of them take a lot more time. City council has to do a lot of research.

Nix said "They evaluate the long term forecast for rain and other factors." City council also considers what season we're in and the water demand is. Before city leaders lessen the water restrictions, they want to make sure we are going to stay out of that drought stage for months.

All the residents Newschannel 6 talked to liked the city's plan. Even though there's no certain combined lake level percentage that will take us out of any stage. However, some residents said they have an ideal level of where the lakes should be, before we come out of Stage 4.

"I say about 35 to 40 percent before we go to stage three," Gaitan.

Wichita Falls resident Mark Tucker said "We need to conserve our water and we need to wait until we get over 50 percent or so before we go back to stage 3."

Nix said There's no reason for the city to plan on coming out of Stage 4. Residents should be prepared for all necessary changes.

Click here for a link to Wichita Falls' Stage 4: Drought Disaster water restrictions.