Drought Emergency Turns Into Drought Disaster When Stage 4 Starts Saturday

- Stage four water restrictions have been announced, moving the city from a drought emergency to a drought disaster.

Lake levels hit 30% this week moving us into stage four but city leaders have decided to hold off on enforcement of new restrictions for a few days.

Stage four will officially start Saturday. The city decided to delay the restrictions to give residents and businesses time to prepare for the changes.

“We thought we'd give the community one last opportunity to water, their lawns and water their shrubs and their landscaping,” says Wichita Falls Mayor Glenn Barham.

Delaying the start of stage four should give residents one last chance to water on their designated day as all outdoor watering with city water will be banned Saturday.

City officials say residents and businesses have already cut back water usage by over two billion gallons this year, proving that the current restrictions are helping, but with lakes at 30% it becomes even more essential to save.

“The only thing we can do is try to conserve more water, to extend our supplies, that's basally all we can do,” says Wichita Falls Director of Public Works Russell Schreiber.

Mayor Glenn Barham says the reduction in water use shows most people are on board now everyone must be doing their part.

“Those folks who have cut their water use back to say two units of water when they were using 5 or 6 before, they've done all they can do, it's the folks that continue to use 8,9,10,11 and 12 units of water that we are focusing on,” says Mayor Barham.

And he says the time for warnings are over. Citations will be issued to violators beginning Saturday, and going over the set amount of 10 units of water a month will cost you an extra 3 dollars per unit. The surcharge increases the more units are used.

The city says they need your help to make sure conservation efforts are enforced .

 If you think someone is not following the water restrictions you can give the city a call at 761-7477, or after hours, 720-5000.  For questions on restrictions, call 761-7401.

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