Drought Forces Mandatory Water Restrictions For OKC, Surrounding Cities

Thursday, January 17th 2013, 6:23 pm
By: News 9

Water restrictions are now in effect in the middle of winter. It's another result of the ongoing drought that has hit the state very hard.

The mandatory restrictions are now in effect in Oklahoma City and any towns that get their water from OKC. Even in the coldest time of the year, the drought is making an impact on the metro.

"There's reason to be concerned and to start conserving," OKC Utilities Director Marsha Slaughter said.

Conserving starts right in your own yard. Everyone in Oklahoma City is now on an odd-even numbered system for outdoor watering.

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"Our wettest months are March, April, May and June, and the current forecast that came out just yesterday on the drought monitor says we're going to get less rain than normal for those months," Slaughter said.

The city's water supply lakes right now are only half-full. The utilities department says Lake Hefner is at its lowest level since the 1970s.

Derrick Herrington with EWF Landscaping in Oklahoma City has been feeling the effects of the drought since it started two years ago. But he says there are certain fertilizers you can use when it's this dry.

"Try to use slow-release fertilizers, nitrogen, to where the nitrogen and material will be there for the lawns when we do get rain," Herrington said.

If you do choose to water outside, home and business owners with addresses ending in an odd number may water on odd numbered days. Addresses ending in an even number, water on even numbered days.

10/9/2013 Related Story: Drought Leads To ‘Natural Disaster' Declaration For Nearly Every Oklahoma County

For most people, their lawns look brown this time of year. The grass may look dead, but it's actually just dormant and will come back in the spring. That's nature's way of conserving energy.

The city says the mandatory outdoor water restrictions will likely be in effect through the end of the summer, as the drought continues.

Edmond water customers are not under the mandatory restrictions. But cities that buy water from Oklahoma City water are, including the following: Moore, Norman, Blanchard, El Reno, Mustang, Newcastle, Piedmont, Yukon, Canadian County Rural Water District #3, the Deer Creek Rural Water Corporation, Tinker Air Force Base, and Pottawatomie County Rural Water District #3.