Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

City of Duncan Considers Drastic Measures As Its Main Water Source Dries Up

20142803-DuncanDrought

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

Southwestern Oklahoma continues to be brutalized as it heads into a fourth consecutive year of drought, and for the City of Duncan, a real water crisis is in the works.

Waurika Lake, which provides water to several communities in the area, is in danger of drying up completely by next year, News9.com’s Evan Anderson reports:

There could be a total ban on the outdoor use of water, if Waurika Lake water levels dip below a certain level. City officials don’t believe residents understand the severity of the water problem.

“It’s never been this low before,” said Jack Jackson. “This is the lowest it’s been in the history of it.”

Jack Jackson is on the water resources board. He says with no significant rain in the future, Waurika Lake will be completely dry, by next year.

“And after that, it’s going to be up to what we can negotiate with the Army Corps of Engineers,” said Jackson.

Duncan is currently implementing stage 3 of its water rationing plan, which allows outdoor watering two days per week between midnight and 9 a.m. If the lake drops below 40 percent of its capacity, the city will move to stage 4 rationing.

In the story, City Manager Jim Frieda says stage 4 is the ‘worst-case-scenario’ and means no outdoor water use, period. That includes watering lawns, filling swimming pools, and washing cars.


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