Severe Drought Leads To Mandatory Water Restrictions In Oklahoma City


Saturday, July 9th 2011, 6:56 pm
By: News 9


Dana Hertneky, News 9 and News9.com

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City has declared a mandatory odd/even water rotation program for all citizens and other communities that use Oklahoma City water.

The mandatory odd/even water rotation program begins immediately and continues until further notice.

Oklahoma City residents whose house numbers end in even numbers are asked to restrict their outdoor watering to even-numbered days, and residents with odd-numbered addresses should water on odd-numbered days.

Other communities that use Oklahoma City water are included in the odd/even rotation.  This includes The Village, Warr Acres, Lake Aluma, Piedmont, Moore, El Reno, Edmond, Yukon, Mustang, Norman, Blanchard, Deer Creek water district and Canadian County District 3.

The severe drought is causing water demand to be extremely high and water pressure to be low.

"It's a water demand and a water pumping issue," said Debbie Ragan with the City of Oklahoma City. "They're using is as fast as we can produce it."

The rotation program will reduce the amount of water used each day, and low-pressure incidents that are unavoidable when everyone waters at once. Low water pressure can happen anywhere in the city. However, those most likely to experience reduced water pressure are those who live at the far edges of the city.

"I walk the neighborhood at night and you see the sprinklers just don't go like they used to," said Chris Cornell who lives in far northwest Oklahoma City.

The following water-use tips will help ease low-pressure problems:

  • Avoid watering between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. when people use the most water indoors.
  • Water the lawn only when it needs it and in the early morning or late afternoon. Watering in the middle of the day allows most of the water to evaporate.
  • Make sure the sprinkler is aimed at the lawn, not the street or sidewalk.
  • Don't water when it's windy. Water will go everywhere but on the grass.

Regan says there isn't a danger of the city running out of water. She says the city gets its water supply from six different lakes so if one gets low, there are other options.

But it will take the cooperation of everyone to keep water flowing through Oklahoma City's 3,000 miles of water pipeline.

Regan says those who don't cooperate could be fined. The city will have people out watching for those who don't abide by the watering restrictions, and that includes commercial properties.

Public parks will have to abide as well. But the city will keep spray parks open because they provide citizens relief from the heat.

07/12/2011 Related Story: Edmond Implements Odd-Even Watering Schedule.

07/11/2011 Related Story:  Norman Implements Mandatory Conservation Due To Increase In Water Usage

07/11/2011 Related Story: Yukon Begins Water Conservation Program