City Council Approves Stage Four Restrictions; Will Look to Amend Stage Three

Wichita Falls, TX. - Residents of Wichita Falls now know what to expect if we go to stage 4 drought restrictions this summer.

The restrictions approved by city councilors Tuesday do not go into effect until the lakes hit 30 percent capacity.

Katherine smith's family has owned Smith's Gardentown Nursery for 64 years, they recently closed their doors  because of city water restrictions.

"Where's the leadership? Our plan seems to be to pray for rain," says Smith.

Smith says the city should have a better plan than just conserving water.

But Public works Director Russell Schreiber says approving stage four restrictions now is a vital part of the plan.

 "The purpose of this is to try and conserve that last sliver of water that's being utilized for what we would consider discretionary use, conserve that for future use, keep it in the lake so that we can use it to drink and bath with in the future," says Schreiber.

The stage four plan that was approved today does not allow any outside watering with fresh city water.

 But an amendment to the original restrictions suggested by Mayor Glenn Barham makes it clear that using water saved from tubs and sinks is allowed during stage four.

The plan also allows using soaker hoses to water house foundations four hours a week on the assigned day for your area, to help prevent foundation problems.

But trees became the center of discussion in the meeting.

Councilor at Large Michael Smith says the trees we have now are a valuable asset for the city and homeowners.

 "I can remember when this was a dusty, barren city, there were no trees hardly," says Smith.

But the stage four restrictions do not allow watering trees except with recycled water.

 District Four Councilor Tim Ingle says it's important to remember that we live in a desert environment and most trees are not native to this area.

"We are in a disaster, if the trees have to suffer the trees suffer, but the safety of the citizens come above the safety of the trees," says Ingle.  
Schreiber predicts these restrictions will not go into affect until early august.

 But the council is looking into amending current stage three restrictions at their next meeting to ban outdoor spray irrigation during the remainder of stage 3.

That would mean residents would lose their once a week watering with sprinklers day.

For the list of stage four restrictions:


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