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Lake levels continue to drop across Texoma

If the weather pattern continues, the city will enter stage one of their drought plan.
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 6:58 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Lake levels continue to drop across Texoma as the weather heats up, with little rain to help.

Lake Arrowhead, Kickapoo and Kemp are the sources for drinking water in Wichita Falls. Lake Arrowhead and Kickapoo have dropped over 10% in the last year.

Officials said it doesn’t look like it is going to get better anytime soon. If more rain doesn’t fall in the near future, they will enter stage one of their drought plan.

“This time last year, both of the lakes were above 90 percent,” Daniel Nix, City of Wichita Falls utilities operations manager said. “We have seen a pretty steady decline since the end of last summer.”

Lake Arrowhead is now just above 80% and Lake Kickapoo is just above 70%. Officials have kept a close eye on this and have already taken steps to help.

“The water that we use for drinking water is coming out of Lake Kemp, Lake Kickapoo and Lake Arrowhead,” Nix said. “Once we use it for drinking water and send it to the waste water plant, it is cleaned up, then that water is deposited back into Lake Arrowhead.”

They have also stepped up their conservation messaging through the city’s social media, giving tips to the community on how to conserve water.

“The citizens of Wichita Falls are doing a great job of conserving on their own right now,” Nix said. “Everything that they implemented during the last drought, the habits and the equipment, it is all still functioning and they are doing a great job of conserving.”

He said they are not hitting the worry button yet, but there is one key element they are watching that will determine if things will get better or worse.

“June is our wettest month, so if we see plenty of rainfall in June then we will be good, but if it is hot and dry, then that doesn’t bode well for the coming 12 months,” Nix said.

He said if they do reach dangerously low lake levels, they are more prepared now than they were a decade ago.

“I think we have done a lot of steps to help make ourselves a little more drought tolerant,” Nix said. “We are very educated here and I think the citizens will continue to step up and do the right thing.”

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