Wichita Falls is so far behind on rainfall that city leaders are asking state regulators for permission to use treated toilet flushes as drinking water.
The North Texas city near the Oklahoma border is about 34 inches behind on precipitation over the past three years. It's awaiting state regulatory approval of a system that would re-use wastewater, a small amount coming from flushes. The two lakes that serve Wichita Falls are 26 percent full. City leaders are also considering rare restrictions on outdoor watering for swimming pools and car washes. It's already cloud seeding to try to squeeze more out of rain clouds.
A West Texas water supplier garnered attention in 2011 when it began constructing a wastewater re-use plant in Big Spring that's similar to what Wichita Falls wants.