Water Study Proposal To Fix Water Shortage Heading To Bartlesville City Council

Some of the people at the meeting say they think it’s a step in the right direction, and they’re hopeful it will help stop Bartlesville’s water crisis.

Wednesday, January 17th 2024, 9:45 pm



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The Bartlesville Water Resource Committee approves a $112,000 study to look into using Kaw Lake as a water source.

This comes after years of droughts and severe water restrictions.

Some of the people at the meeting say they think it’s a step in the right direction, and they’re hopeful it will help stop Bartlesville’s water crisis.

The study will look into using Kaw Lake, which is about 50 miles west of Bartlesville.

John Hensley, who has lived in Bartlesville for 50 years, says he hopes this will solve the city’s water troubles.

"I think that our water resources are a real serious problem,” said Hensley. “We need to do something about it. But we need to, at the same time, control our costs. We don't want to run a big deficit, that sort of thing."

Bartlesville relies primarily on Hulah and Copan Lakes right now.

City leaders are looking at different ways to get more water from those two, but also want to see if there are other options.

"We do have a lot of lakes up in northeast Oklahoma, so there's a lot of options out there,” said Terry Lauritsen, the Director of Water Utilities for the City of Bartlesville. “It really started from there, and then we started whittling them down based on cost and how long it would potentially take for us to get to it."

The study will look at how many gallons of water could be taken from the lake, if a pipeline could be built, and the quality of the water.

Lauritsen believes this could be a good solution to the city’s problems.

"I think it's the most cost-effective overall, as well as achieving the amount of water that we're projecting for the next 20 to 50 years,” said Lauritsen.

Hensley knows the problem won’t be solved overnight, but he thinks finding new solutions is the right way to go.

"It takes a while,” said Hensley. “You can't do any of this stuff in just a few months even. To do it in one to two years would be remarkable, I think. It takes working on it along the way."

The study now must go to the City Council to be approved.

City Council plans to vote on that in February.

Once the study starts, experts say it could take about five months to complete.

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