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As Drought Continues, Businesses Find Ways to Conserve Water

Recent rains have the lakes holding steady around 31.5% for Wichita Falls, but now is still a critical time for all Texoma residents to continue water conservation efforts to avoid even more drastic water restrictions.
Recent rains have the lakes holding steady around 31.5% for Wichita Falls, but now is still a critical time for all Texoma residents to continue water conservation efforts to avoid even more drastic water restrictions.

And residents aren't the only ones who are continuing to cut back. Many businesses are implementing plans to help the conservation efforts.

Air Tractor has used half the amount of water this year as they did in 2012 by recycling the water they use in an important part of the plane manufacturing process.

Every crop dusting plane that Air Tractor builds has to have its hopper or tank tested. The tanks hold between 500 and 800 gallons of the chemicals used to spray the crops.

“Most of the time it's liquid and then if it leaks it can get on their windshield and stuff so we had to bring it out here, make sure it doesn't leak,” says Senior Group Leader Mike Kimbro.

They used to drain the water used for the tests out on the ground, but with a critical drought situation Air Tractor decided to build a 1,500 gallon tank so they can save and use it over and over.

And the conservation doesn't stop there. They also built a retention pond to catch whatever rain falls for their trees.

But even though they've done a lot to conserve,  Kimbro says they are always looking into doing more.

“Everybody's excited about it, it's just going great. It's become a game with everybody, how much water we can save. As they become more aware they come up with more ways to save water,” says Kimbro.

Kimbro says conserving at work has turned into conserving at home as well. And he hopes that other people can get inspired to look for ways to conserve.

“Businesses probably need to cut back more, because all jobs take water and we need to conserve and not waste because if the water goes away and we don't get rain next spring, it's gonna get more critical,” says Kimbro.

Many other Texoma businesses are also hard at work on new conservation methods, in fact Wichita Falls Operations Manager Daniel Nix says one of the largest industry water users, PPG, is meeting with the city next week to discuss their water conservation plan. 

 
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