Drought Forcing Many Oklahomans Into Water Restrictions

Wednesday, July 6th 2011, 10:17 pm
By: News 9

Dana Hertneky, News9

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma -- High temperatures and lack of rain have put parts of Oklahoma in the midst of the worst drought since the dust bowl and there have already been 17 days of triple-digit heat this summer.

Lawns are already feeling the heat and keeping them green is nearly impossible. Currently, for most of the metro there are no water restrictions, but that may not be the case for long.

Marty Milster had depended on a well for water for his home in Goldsby, Okla. until a recently, when it began to go dry.

"I think that has a lot to do with the drought," said Milster.

The City of Goldsby has allowed him to start getting city water from a line that runs in front of his home. However, that is now restricted too and causing Marty to worry about his grass, landscaping, even his foundation cracking.

"I can always plant grass back, but I can't rebuild my house," said Milster.

Last week, Goldsby city leaders banned all outdoor watering and now residents are on mandatory odd/even watering days. Currently, it's the only metro community restricting water use.

However, Jerry Church, with the Association for Central Oklahoma Governments, says that won't be the case for long.

"As long as the summer's going on and we're having persistent triple digit heat, some issues are going to be inevitable," said Church.

Church says the issue isn't with the water supply, but the infrastructure and pumps that will have a hard time keeping up with demand.

"I see this is going to be an issue and I ask everyone who is concerned and cares about their community to start thinking about the way they use water," he says.

Marty says he will also be lobbying for some divine intervention.

"God will bless us with a little bit of rain and we will go on our way,"

Norman and Edmond are on Voluntary odd /even watering days, but Norman city leaders say they are getting closer to making that mandatory.

An Oklahoma City spokesperson says the city is watching the water situation carefully, but right now it is nowhere near the pumping capacity.