Texas drought taking its toll

Wichita Falls residents have been given the order: no more outside watering.

The prolonged drought throughout much of Texas has forced the city to enact some very strict rules on residents. Seems the lakes that supply the city with water are continuing to shrivel. Water quality is being degraded. Residents are facing stiff penalties if they violate the restrictions.


Is this a harbinger of what other communities may face down the road?

Amarillo is in better shape than many communities. It has purchased a lot of water rights throughout the Panhandle. Of course, Amarillo’s boon could mean a bust for smaller communities that rely on the same aquifer ground water as the Panhandle’s largest city.

Lake Meredith, which used to supply the city with some of its water, no longer is of any use. It’s level has receded below the intake pumps. Marinas have been closed. Boating is limited. The lake’s volume is less than 1 percent of capacity — which means it’s virtually dry.

All that bad news can be countered, though, with some good news. Wichita Falls is going to enact a wastewater treatment program that will recycle wastewater back into the system. The plan calls for a dramatic reduction in the amount of water drawn from lakes Kickapoo and Arrowhead.

Good deal, yes? Of course it is.

Here’s the thing, though. If Amarillo ever were to enact such a plan in which residents are drinking water that once contained, um, certain organic matter, I hope the city does so without ever telling anyone.

Some things I don’t need to know.