Drought Affecting MSU - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Drought Affecting MSU

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The lack of rain in Texoma is impacting safety and possible growth at Midwestern State University.

"Normally we would have planted plants around the monument signs around campus,” said Kyle Owens, Associate Vice President of Facility Services at MSU.

Instead university officials are looking at different ways to maintain its grounds.

"General aesthetics of the university, that's a big deal. First impressions are large. People come here and see that's things are dead. They're not as impressed as they would be to go to the university down the road,” said Owens.

He said the drought has significantly changed the way the university operates.

"Over the years we've done a lot of things. Primarily in dorms and when we build new buildings we put in low flow devices, irrigator faucets and faucets that have motion sensors," said Owens.  

One of MSU's biggest water concerns is outside irrigation. There are four athletic fields that athletes use for practices and games.

"Athlete cuts one direction or the other. If the ground is hard it doesn't give and the risk of injury is a lot higher. So we do need to keep watering,” said Owens.

The campus has two water wells and is currently in the process of installing a reverse osmosis unit, but hopes it can acquire water rights to pump out of Sikes Lake.

“We still like to have that as an option. There's not enough water there for us to use it as primary source. It could supplement some,” said Owens.

Sikes Lake is located on the south end of its campus. University officials said they put in a permit to use the water out of the lake last year.

It expects to know if the permit was granted sometime this summer.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6