"Dry on the Plains" - Wichita Falls Texas - May 2014 MSW Video Profile

Texas water utility manages its way through years of drought by implementing a strong contingency plan and reducing consumption by over 50 percent.

Wichita Falls, in north central Texas, is just 10 miles from the Oklahoma border. The 1930s Dust Bowl included that area, and Dust Bowl II could be on the horizon – the average rainfall has been under half the normal amount since 2011. Farming, tilling and irrigation practices have improved in the last 80 years, but this current drought has been deep and long.

“It could be another Dust Bowl,” notes Daniel Nix, utilities operations manager for the City of Wichita Falls. “We normally get 29 inches of rain per year, but since 2011 we’ve been getting way less than that. Our lake capacity is currently at 27.5 percent, and that level continues to drop.”


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