City of Abilene nearing possible Stage 2 water restrictions


ABILENE, Texas - The city of Abilene could be under Stage 2 water restrictions if Lake Fort Phantom drops two more feet.

Presently, residents are permitted to water once a week.

Stage 2 could possibly kick in ifLake Phantom is 17 feet below the spillway. Currently, it is 14.7 feet below.

"Once we hit the 17-foot line we notify the mayor,"said Wayne Lisenbee, the city's assistant director of water utilities. "He (Mayor Norm Archibald) has the authority to declare the next stage, so it is not automatic."

If the city enacts Stage 2 restrictions, it would be the first time it has been in that stage of the conservation plan since 2000.

Lisenbee said he believes that could happen again because forecasts predict average rainfall.

"It's likely because the long-range forecasts from the meteorologist of the state of Texas are forecasting an average rainfall season," Lisenbee said, noting when rainfall is average, it "does not fill up lakes."

Professional landscaper and business owner Blake Lohse believes residents can begin preparing now.

"I think the best thing right now is raising the height up on your mower," Lohse said. "The shorter you cut your grass the less chance it has to survive in this heat and with lack of rain it doesn't have a chance really."