“Del City has never used its full allocation from Thunderbird,” Komiske said. “They have wells.”
Conservation is key, and Komiske said Norman customers are helping make a difference.
“Two weeks in a row, we’ve used less water than we did last year at this time,” Komiske said.
If emergency water is not available from Oklahoma City, this summer will be difficult.
“Our conservation plan has another stage that is available,” Komiske said. “We can go into Stage 3.”
There are no immediate plans for new wells.
“We’re just trying to keep the ones we have going,” he said. “We’re hoping for the best. We’ll try to keep everybody informed.”
Canton Lake is about 75 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. The lake is home to a variety of fish and has become the primary source of walleye eggs for incubation and stocking of other Oklahoma lakes. Since 1968, an annual Walleye Rodeo in May has been an economic boon for the area.
State Sen. Bryce Marlatt and Rep. Mike Sanders were critical of OKC for the water transfer.
“This should have been a last-ditch option for Oklahoma City, but the gates are open and the water is flowing out of Canton Lake right now,” Marlatt said. “Not only are the people of western Oklahoma going to suffer, but when the dog days of summer are here and the drought is even worse, citizens in Oklahoma City are going to be impacted as well because of a failure to adopt a pro-active water conservation plan.”
“Where has Oklahoma City been the last three years during this drought? Where is their water conservation plan? Lawns are still being watered in dead of winter. It makes no sense at all,” said Sanders, R-Kingfisher. “Failure of water management planning got them to this point. It was ill-advised to use reserve water first, rather than a monitored draw-down of two-thirds (of) full Lake Hefner.”