Recent drought has residents worried

Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 6:51 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Do I water the lawn, wash my car or have drinking water next week? The recent heat wave has residents worried we might see a repeat of the drought of 2011.

“Every bit of bad, if not worse, and the way the weather looks it’s going to be worse,” Lake Kemp resident Jay Gawlik said. “Going to be a worse drought than then, I don’t know where they are going to go with it.”

Despite the look of things, officials said they have learned from the past and now have the reuse project, which is delaying the city from entering phase 1 of the water conservation plan.

READ: City of Wichita Falls asks residents to conserve water

“We’re better than we were in 2011. The lakes are at 77 % because of all the work we did with the reuse project,” Russel Shreiber, Public Works Director for the City of Wichita Falls, said. “We’re putting eight and a half to nine million gallons of water a day, back into the reservoir and that’s helped keep that reservoir fuller if you will.”

Officials do believe we are in better standing than we were in 2011 because of this project.

“I can’t verify it with numbers, but I would suspect that if we didn’t have the reuse project in place, we would already be in drought stage one,” Shreiber said.

Officials don’t think we will enter phase one until September, so they are urging residents to start conserving water now.

“Ask everybody to be conscious of how they’re using their water. Every drop we can save now pushes that stage 1 drought contingency plan further into the future, so that’s what we’re asking folks to do,” Shreiber said.

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