Water Resources Commission to Make Stage 5 Recommendations

- As lake levels continue to drop each week, Wichita Falls residents and water users are getting closer to tighter water restrictions.

Lake levels this week are at 27.5% and city officials say new restrictions could kick in when they hit 25%.

Wichita Falls Public Works Director Russell Schreiber says at this point, water must be saved for essentials such as bathing and drinking. Now cuts will come down to uses that are more recreational.

“We have to, insure, do everything we can to extend that supply, to make sure that when that water comes out of the tap it's safe to drink, that if your house catches on fire we can put out a fire,” says Schreiber.

Making sure there is water to drink means the faucets get shut off when it comes some to other uses.

“The foundation watering that's still allowed right now for four hours that is gonna be eliminated or likely be eliminated,” says Schreiber.

And clean cars will fall under the less-essential list as car washes could be asked to shutdown three days a week instead of one.  And when they are open, hours could be restricted. But Schreiber says it's a cut that has to be made.

“That means they're still open four, they still have the ability if they find an alternative supply such as a well they could offset or supplement their supply with that,” says Schreiber.

Having a private well may also come in handy for swimming pool owners as the water resources commission will suggest that filling up or topping off pools with potable water should also be prohibited. That means the city pool at Lucy Park would not open, nor Castway Cove,  even with its new million dollar slide scheduled to be installed soon.

Schreiber says he wishes such restrictions were not necessary, but options are slim with the water supply dwindling lower and lower, and soon the blazing sun of summer will be bearing down on the lakes.

“It's unfortunate that we've got to this point. I just hate it that we can't seem to catch a break in the drought but that's what's happening,” says Schreiber.

Now just to reiterate, these restrictions the Water Resources Commission plans to present are not in place and could change before city councilors vote on them. Schreiber says the restrictions should come to a vote in April and stage five could start in early May.

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