WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – Using water wisely is always important, but continuing drought conditions in McLennan County are making water conservation even more vital.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, all of McLennan County is currently classified as being in at least Severe (Level 2) Drought, with more than 40 percent of the county classified in Extreme (Level 3) Drought, and a smaller portion of the county classified in Exceptional (Level 4) Drought.

The City of Waco Drought Contingency Plan calls for the implementation of Stage 1 restrictions when the level of the lake reaches 455 feet – at which point the reservoir is at approximately 72 percent of its capacity. Stage 1 restrictions call for the city to restrict its own municipal water use and monitor for excessive outdoor watering.

As of May 18, the level of Lake Waco is 456.7 feet. The normal (conservation pool) level of the lake is 462 feet (above mean sea level).

City-wide mandatory water restrictions would begin with the implementation of Stage 2 of the city’s Drought Contingency Plan, which would take effect once the level of Lake Waco has reached 452 feet.

The City of Waco Drought Contingency Plan calls for the implementation of increasing water use restrictions in five stages – tied to the level of Lake Waco. The full City of Waco Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan can be found at www.waco-texas.com, or by visiting www.wacowater.com and clicking on “Conservation” in the navigation on the left side of the screen.