OKC Begins Mandatory Outdoor Water Conservation Program

Thursday, January 17th 2013, 10:43 am
By: News 9

The extreme drought conditions combined with the low water levels in Oklahoma City lakes have pushed city officials to implement a mandatory odd/even watering program, effective immediately.

The city would prefer people completely turn off their sprinkler systems. However, watering is still allowed. Anyone whose address numbers end in an even number may water their yards on even-numbered days; those whose house numbers end in odd number may water on odd-numbered days.

1/12/2013: Related Story: Mandatory Water Rationing Goes Into Effect In Norman On Monday

City officials say if the drought continues, the city may enforce even stricter outdoor water restrictions.

"Oklahoma City's water-supply-lakes, Hefner, Overholser and Draper, are just over half full," said Utilities Director Marsha Slaughter. "We don't know how long the drought will last, but it's important that residents consider water conservation when they plan their landscaping, choose plants and renovate their home."

Cities that use Oklahoma City water are also required to comply with the outdoor watering restriction as a minimum. These cities include: Blanchard, El Reno, Moore, Mustang, Newcastle, Norman, 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.

The city also suggests following these steps to use water more wisely during the drought:

  • Use drought tolerant plant materials in landscaping or gardens.
  • Avoid fertilizing, aerating, de-thatching, topdressing or transplanting. It's not a good idea to encourage new growth during a drought.
  • Remember, brown Bermuda grass means it is dormant not dead. It's nature's way of conserving energy.
  • Water plants and shrubs less frequently, but deeply and thoroughly.

City of Edmond water customers are not affected by the recent metro area mandatory water rationing put in place.

"Our metropolitan area is in desperate need of rainfall to help replenish our water supplies. We are very fortunate in Edmond that our water supplies, both Arcadia Lake and our 56 water wells, are all at normal levels," said Ashleigh Clark, City of Edmond Public Information Officer.

Although Edmond water customers are not affected by the mandatory rationing, residents are asked to be aware of the new odd/even voluntary water rationing schedule for outdoor irrigation. Visit edmondok.com/conservationplan for details about the new schedule.

And for more information about the City of Edmond conservation practices both indoors and outside, please visit edmondwater.com/real.