State Water Regulator To Study Southwest Oklahoma Supply Shortages

  • Logan Layden

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The recent wet weather has been more than welcome by residents of drought-parched southwest Oklahoma, but it hasn’t yet been enough to reverse the depletion of municipal water supplies.

Now the Oklahoma Water Resources Board is stepping in to help communities there to keep from running out of water. From The Associated Press:

The studies will focus on how water conservation, marginal quality water supplies and public water supply system regionalization might address the needs of basins on a local level and serve as examples for water users statewide.

The studies are part of the state’s ongoing water conservation initiative.

The announcement of the study comes as one city, Duncan, considers rarely used Stage 4 water restrictions, which would ban all outdoor watering and threaten city pools and car washes with closure.

KSWO TV in Lawton reports levels at Waurika Lake, which Duncan relies on for water, continue to drop:

It’s been a long road for the city of Duncan where many officials like [Public Works Director Scott Vaughn] believe they’ve done all they can do under Stage 3.

… Back in March, a decision was made that the city would enter Stage 4 restrictions if and when Waurika Lake’s conservation pool fell below 40 percent. That level has come and gone, but those new rules never happened.

“The thinking was let’s see what the typically rainy season does, see how much rainfall we get, how much water gets into the lakes,” explained Vaughn.

KSWO reports Waurika Lake is currently only 36 percent full.