Robert Lee On Verge Of Running Out Of Water

ROBERT LEE, Texas - The 1,200 residents of the town of Robert Lee could be out of water by the end of the year.

The town gets its water from Lake E.V. Spence, a lake that was once one of the largest in the region.

But with a drought firmly entrenched and recent temperatures averaging about 105 degrees, Lake E.V. Spence is nearly dry.

The lake is down to less than 1 percent of its water supply, forcing residents to be under a Phase Three water restriction ? which means all outdoor watering is banned.

?I've never seen it dryer or hotter," Mayor John Jacobs said. ?We all thought it would rain before it got (to this point) and it didn't, so we don't know when it's going to rain."

Robert Lee has only seen 3 inches of rain in the last 12 months.

With all outdoor watering banned, some residents are traveling 20 miles or more to get water for their yards.

One resident, Robert Milliff said he is trying to save his trees.

?My wife and I have been hauling water all day long, putting water on our trees to try to help them,? Milliff, said. ?I bought a brand new 16-foot trailer and put three water tanks on it to go different places to get water."

Jacobs said city officials are trying to work out a plan to get an emergency line that will run from Bronte, 12 miles east of town, to supply residents with more water.

In addition to the drought, water levels were further lowered because of the water needed to fight two major wildfires that threatened the town over the past four months.

Robert Lee is located in Coke County, about 65 miles southwest of Abilene.

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