Stage 5: Drought Catastrophe? - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Stage 5: Drought Catastrophe?

Lake Arrowhead and Kickapoo continue to evaporate. The combined lake levels are at 27.5% as of Friday. Wichita Falls is currently in Stage 4: Drought Disaster but Stage 5 may have to be enacted very soon.

 
"The consensus among the Water Resources Committee members was to trigger Stage 5 when lake levels hit 25%. They felt waiting another 10% just really didn't leave a lot of room," Daniel Nix, City of Wichita Falls Public Utilities Operations Manager. 

If Stage 5 is enacted, then some businesses could see stiffer water restrictions. 
 
"It has boiled down to a recommendation to the city council of restricting car washes to an additional two days and restricting the hours the car washes can be open," said Nix.

Pools are also going to be regulated and will not be allowed to be filled with city water. Nix said Castaway Cove will not open if Stage 5 is enacted. The only pools that will be allowed to use city water are therapy pools.

Car washes and pools are going to be affected because the industries usage of water is deemed non-essential by the Water Resources Committee.

"When you start looking at restricting the essential uses of water, you better have taken all of the non-essential uses off the board," said Nix.

Originally, Nix thought restaurants and apartment complexes would be impacted by Stage 5, but that looks like it is not going to be the case. "The remaining water that is being used at a restaurant is being used for health and safety reasons and to cut that back anymore would not be beneficial at this point," he said. 

After analyzing the water record from apartments, the Water Resources Committee found out that they really don't use that much water. The average apartment uses less water than the average home.

Stage 5 will also include doubling of water surcharges just like the rest of the drought stages.

James Parish, Newschannel 6

 

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