Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

Texas Might be Tapped to Solve Water Problems in Altus, Oklahoma

Tom Steed Reservoir

gmeador / flickr

The City of Altus depends on water from the Tom Steed Reservoir, which is less than one-third full.

Southwest Oklahoma is suffering from unrelenting drought, and city leaders in Altus have been forced to enact water restrictions limiting outdoor watering, car washing and filling swimming pools.

The city depends on the Tom Steed Reservoir, which is less than one-third full, data from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation show.

Oklahoma just isn’t cutting it, and the Altus City Council this week approved a $109,000 contact for a Texas firm to help the city find other water supplies. One possible source: Texas, The Lawton Constitution’s Mark Potter reports:

One of the additional water sources being studied is the Round Timber Well Field just south of the Red River in Wilbarger County, Texas, that was developed in the 1960s but has not been in operation in recent years.

City officials there are also considering moving to “Stage 4” water restrictions — rolling water blackouts, basically. The paper reports:

… which may include shutting off water to various portions of the city for a day on a rotating basis, if such action becomes necessary.

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  • Gregory Purcell

    Ummm hey what about this ‘

    Coal plants, like most other steam-producing electricity-generating plants,
    typically withdraw and consume water from nearby water bodies, such as
    lakes, rivers, or oceans, to create steam for turning their turbines.
    A typical coal plant with a once-through cooling system withdraws between
    70 and 180 billion gallons of water per year and consumes 0.36 to 1.1
    billion gallons of that water. A typical coal plant with a
    wet-recirculating cooling system withdraws only a fraction as much as a
    once-through-cooled plant, but consumes 1.7 to 4.0 billion gallons per
    year, while a typical coal plant with a dry-cooled system consumes much

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