Water Woes: Officials fear heavy water usage due to winter droug - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Water Woes: Officials fear heavy water usage due to winter drought

Water cascading over rocks in water feature; Source: KFDA Water cascading over rocks in water feature; Source: KFDA
Drought-tolerant plants found at local nursery; Source: KFDA Drought-tolerant plants found at local nursery; Source: KFDA
Green lawn in front of local house; Source: KFDA Green lawn in front of local house; Source: KFDA
Row of drought-tolerant plants found at local nursery; Source: KFDA Row of drought-tolerant plants found at local nursery; Source: KFDA
AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -

Due to the drought this year, water is going to be relied upon more heavily than it was in the past years.

The irrigation season is approaching fast, and the Canadian Municipal Water Authority is making sure they planning ahead despite lake levels at Meredith still being above 70 feet. 

Lake Meredith is currently at 75.6 feet.

General Manager for the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority Kent Satterwhite says they are ecstatic about that.

"The lake is in a good spot right now," said Satterwhite. "The river is still running twice what it normally does this time of year."

This spring homeowners will be more reliant on irrigation.

CRMWA says they'll be ready for heavy usage.

"This year the lake is starting off at a lot higher level," said Satterwhite. "We had big inflows in late September, early October which brought us up several feet. We're at 40 percent capacity, which may not sound like a lot, but from where we were it's a lot. The lake is diluted down significantly, the well fields are pretty much at capacity. We're good to go." 

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Satterwhite knows homeowners will be reliant on water this year. That's why CRMWA will do their best to supply water as needed.

"We're just gonna try and keep up, it's all we can do. We're kind of use to this time of year, the high use time of year," said Satterwhite.

CRMWA even uses drought-tolerant landscaping around their buildings.

"We like drought tolerant grasses to start with," said Satterwhite. "Of course, [it's] all yellow and ugly right now though. We use bermuda, buffalo, and native grasses. I think that's the key to happiness when you live in the desert like we do." 

Owner of Coulter Gardens & Nursery Warren Reid says he is always thinking about water.

"In the Panhandle, water is always a first thought in gardening," said Reid. 

Drought-tolerant plants come in all shapes and sizes - from little plants, to big shrubs.

There are also multiple levels of zero-scape to fit your style.

For instance, El Paso.

"One plant and 100 square feet of rock," describes Reid.

English garden.

"100 percent plants, and no rock," said Reid.

Mediterranean.

"Mediterranean plants are heat tolerant, drought tolerant; but there's still little patches of grass, with ground cover," said Reid.

Reid does say when you can, stop and walk barefoot through the grass instead.

"In the Panhandle, you gotta take your shoes off and walk on a little grass sometimes," said Reid.

Despite lake levels being above 70 feet, every one is still advised to be conscious when using water around your home for any purpose including lawn maintenance.

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