Bartlesville City Council Approves Study To Look Into Getting Water From Kaw Lake

The City Council just approved funding for a study to see if it's feasible to pump water from Kaw Lake 50 miles west of Bartlesville to get a long-term water supply for its citizens.

Thursday, February 8th 2024, 6:23 pm

By: Matt Rahn


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The City of Bartlesville is looking into new ways of getting a more long-term water supply for its citizens.

The City Council just approved funding for a study to see if it's feasible to pump water from Kaw Lake 50 miles west of Bartlesville. 

The city of Bartlesville looked into getting water from Kaw Lake back in 2006, finding that it would cost $106 million. Since it's been nearly 20 years since then, now they're trying to find what it would cost today.

Pumping roughly 18 million gallons of water a day from Kaw Lake would be a big undertaking. And although Bartlesville city leaders say they've bounced back from the drought in 2022 and water supply levels are good, they're looking at the lake to solve future water shortage issues. 

"It's really part of long-term water supply, so we're looking at water for the next 50 to 100 years with our water resources those won't make beyond 50 to 75 years, so there's going to be a gap at some point," said Water Utilities Director Terry Lauritsen.

He says it's hard to tell how much the project will cost. The city of Enid just finished a similar 70-mile water pipeline from Kaw Lake with a price tag of $300 million. Something like that would be the biggest city project in Bartlesville's history, says Lauritsen.

The city is paying an engineering firm more than $100,000 to see just how big a project it could be.

The study will determine if the water quality at Kaw Lake is compatible with the city's water system and see what infrastructure would be necessary for the project. 

The city says the study will take about 5 months to complete, and they say they’re also looking into other water source options like getting water from the Ada-Vamoosa Aquifer. 

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