Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

Oklahoma City’s Water Conservation Measures Could Get Some Teeth

Oklahoma City isn’t doing enough. That was one of the main takeaways from KOSU’s On Tap event last month that focused on water policy, drought, and conservation.

But the city’s Water Utilities Trust says it’s getting more serious about enforcing conservation measures, and will propose some tough changes at a public hearing on Tuesday. From The Oklahoman: 

The Oklahoma City Council plans a public hearing Tuesday on measures requiring new lawn sprinkler systems to have shut-off valves and to raise fines on those who violate conservation orders.

Fines would range from $119 to $1,200 for repeat offenders.

The Water Utilities Trusts’ recommendations would be based around reservoir levels. When the capacity of city lakes falls to 70 percent, odd-even watering restrictions would be mandatory, the paper reports. Lawn watering would be limited to two days per week when levels drop to 50 percent. Below 40 percent, only hand-watering would be allowed.

Outdoor watering would be banned outright when reservoir levels fall to 35 percent. Oklahoma City keeps its water in six reservoirs, including Lake Hefner, Draper, and Overholser. Currently, the reservoirs are at about 60 percent capacity, OKC Utilities Department spokesperson Debbie Ragan tells StateImpact.

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