City Of Duncan May Ban All Outdoor Watering
DUNCAN, Oklahoma - An Oklahoma town is considering drastic measures when it comes to water use.
Duncan city officials say water levels at Waurika Lake are at a crisis point. 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, Waurkia 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.
The lake is 14 feet below normal. And right now, it's a primary water source for seven surrounding cities, including Duncan and Lawton.
"But if we go below a certain percentage at Waurika Lake, we will be at stage four, and that would prohibit outside water use completely," said Duncan city manager, Jim Frieda.
Frieda says if Waurika Lake levels drop below 40 percent, an executive order to move into stage four water rationing will go into effect.
"Anything that's an outside source that would draw from our water supply would be prohibited," said Frieda.
A stage four rationing would affect more than just area lawns, it would also shut down Duncan car washes. Residents think that could be a dirty proposition.
"Can't wash your car, can't water your lawn, can't fill your swimming pool," said Frieda.
"Yeah, that would be terrible," said Duncan resident, Foster Gibbs.
"I have lived here for quite a while and I've never not been able to keep the pool topped off or anything like that," said Kirk Gibbs.
Frieda says this will be strictest water rationing plan he's ever had to enforce. Stage four being the worst case scenario.
"It's a possibility I don't want to see occur," said Frieda.
Right now, the city is at stage three in their water rationing plan. That allows watering two days a week from midnight to 9 am. Frieda says he gets lake level readings every Monday.