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My Knowledge of Wichita Falls’ Water Situation Is Running on Empty

Drought Drying Up Wichita Falls Water Supply
Credit: Flickr/Mark Sinderson

Just saw a link on Facebook to a news story about how the water/drought situation here is getting worse and worse. We’re already in a water “emergency, but we’re now precariously close to being in what City categorizes as a water “disaster.”

Besides assuming that a “disaster” is something really, really bad, I can only wonder what a water disaster declaration would mean. I seriously don’t have a clue. And that bothers me. I feel like it’s something I should know. I mean, I’m a pretty informed guy, yet I couldn’t tell you if a water disaster means more slightly-burdensome water restrictions or if my family is going to be limited to 10 minutes of shower time per day.

Why don’t I know this? And whose fault is it that I don’t? Of course, the first scapegoat that came to mind was the City. Why haven’t they told me, personally, how to stave off disaster, what to do in case of disaster, and what they were doing to mitigate future disasters??


Of course, the fact is the City is doing something. I just don’t know what that something is. Or if it’s the right thing. Or enough of the right thing. I, literally, do not know and have no basis for criticizing, praising or planning. And while my family and I are extremely conscious of our water use, we’re still part of the problem by not being adequately informed.

I know it’s exhausting and frustrating and often a complete waste of time to try to stay informed about such matters. And I know people in general – and myself in particular – tend to rely on the belief that things will eventually work out for the best. But the prospect of a city of 100,000 simply running out of water cannot be left up to such arms-length involvement. And yet, I’ve spent WAY more time and energy researching what local bars carry The Longhorn Network than I have determining whether water will still be coming out of my kitchen faucet in a few months.

And that’s my fault. And it’s unacceptable.

So, speaking for myself, I’m going to commit to gaining as complete an understanding of our situation and our options as is possible. Who knows? Maybe I’ll learn that things are going to work out for the best. Or maybe I’ll be so shocked by what I learn that I immediately rent a U-Haul and get my family the hell out of this desert wasteland. I’ll keep you posted.

Whatever I do, it’s only going to come after I pull my own head of the sand.

NEXT: What Is the Wichita Falls Water Reuse Project and How Does It Work

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