Wichita Falls lake levels rise above watch line

“Staff recommendation is going to be leave us where we are."
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 5:27 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - On March 13 it was confirmed that Wichita Falls lake levels rose by 2.6% from last week to a combined level of 66.8%.

A level above 65% is enough to end the stage one drought restrictions, but before that decision is made the Wichita Falls City Council will have to take precipitation forecasts, water usage, and Public Works staff recommendations into consideration.

There are automatic triggers for entering a drought watch, but ending the watch is ultimately left to Wichita Falls City Council.

“So we’re really coming out of the winter, where there’s not a lot of irrigation, and going into the spring where there’s probably going to be more irrigation,” said Daniel Nix, Public Works Utilities Operation Manager. “They’ll take that into account deciding whether they want to leave us in stage one or bring us back out into a normal condition.”

Nix believes that the best course of action for the City Council is to continue the current drought watch to prevent lake levels from dropping more than necessary later on.

“Staff recommendation is going to leave us where we are. We can lose up to half a percent per week in lake level, especially if we’re not going to get any more rain, and with it going into that irrigation season I think it just makes sense to be cautious and see where we are,” Nix said.

Current drought restrictions include limits on when residents can water their lawns using automatic systems, and so far the City has not started more restrictive measures such as the kind seen in the drought that ended in 2015.