Making a Difference? - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Making a Difference?

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A cloud seeding operation took place this past Saturday for the second time this year and has many Texomans talking. Big rain drops fell as expected and even knowing the time cloud seeding took place went exactly with the time rain systems came through Wichita Falls.

Wichita Falls received a total of 1.84 inches of rainfall on Saturday.

"It's a good start.  Every drop that goes into the ground rehydrates the ground.  It will help the next storm event that comes through to cause runoff and to go into the reservoirs," said Director of Public Works, Russell Schreiber.

Even with the amount of rainfall, it's hard to tell if the cloud seeding operations on Saturday made an impact on the drought.

"It's pretty hard to tell right now not knowing exactly what has flown into the watershed and what has gotten to the lakes.  It takes a couple of days for everything to run off.  Also, it will take some time because we have to analyze all of the gage data, plot out where they seeded and then look at some of the radar and see how it impacted the time they seeded and the elevation they seeded for us to really know what the impact is," said Deputy Director of Public Works, Teresa Rose.

Many factors will determine if Wichita Falls will we get out of a stage 4 drought like, the time of year and lake levels.  However, city council members will be the ones who declare the end of a drought stage. Until Wichita Falls receives a decent amount of rainfall to get out of stage4, stage 5 drought restrictions have been developed.

"The water resource commission developed stage 5 drought restriction about a week ago.  We'll likely take those to council sometime in the near future.  We do plan on initiating a stage 5 drought when the lake levels hit 25-percent, which is the proposed level," said Schreiber.

More cloud seeding operation will take place over the course of six months.

"I think it's enough to see how the clouds seeding works in our area and how it affects the systems that come through our area.  It's not enough to completely take us out of the drought within 6 weeks.  It's kind of more of a prolonged type of operation when you're looking at seeding of clouds to get enough water to sustain your watersheds,” said Rose.

Even with the amount of rainfall received in Wichita Falls this past Saturday, it was not enough for lake levels.  This week, lake levels had a combined total of 26.6-percent which is down .1-percent from last week.

Taylor Barnes, Newschannel 6