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W.F. City Officials Planning for Stage 4 Restrictions

<p dir="LTR">Stage 3 drought restrictions are in place in Wichita falls, but plans are already in the works to get ready for Stage 4 restrictions, and determine just what they will be.</p> <p dir="LTR">Stage 4 restrictions will trigger once the combined levels of Lake Arrowhead and Lake Kickapoo reach 30%. </p> <p dir="LTR">As of today, they are at 38.5%, but what additional mandates will be imposed once Stage 4 is reached?</p> <p dir="LTR">Mechell Dixon talked with city public works officials to find out.</p>

The City of Wichita Falls has never reached Stage 4 restrictions.

While Stage 3 restrictions are in effect a special committee is turning to several businesses to find out what additional regulations will be enforced.

Wichita Falls lawns and gardens are not looking as green and lush, now that Stage 3 water restriction are in effect.

And as each day without rain goes by and the lakes fall lower, city officials and water committee members are now planning for the worse.

"The Water Resources Committee, which is a standing sub-committee of the city council, has been meeting over the course of the last 30 days to start developing those very specific stage four restrictions that will come into play this summer," says Daniel Nix, operations manager for the Wichita Falls Public Works Department.

That committee has been getting input from businesses that use lots of water.

Including Katherine Smith of Smith's Gardentown Farms.

She says she told the committee lawns could go without watering, but not trees.

"If we lose our trees we lose a great economic asset as well as posing a danger. Those dead trees can fall on a house or car or something and really be dangerous until they're all taken down," Smith says.

Smith says there are plant varieties that thrive in little water.

And when it comes to little water, Stage 4 restrictions would cost more than just residents.

"The surcharges will be going up also for residential and we will be developing surcharges for commercial rates, which we currently do not have in Stage 2 and Stage 3," explains Nix.

The Water Resources Committee has spoken with owners of car washes, pool companies, restaurants and other businesses that use lots of water.

City Operations Manager Daniel Nix says that committee will finalize it's recommendations for Stage 4 restrictions in the next few weeks and make a presentation to city councilors by early May.

And in case you're wondering, according to Stage 4 restrictions, outdoor use of water for non-essential use would be totally banned.

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