The Norman Transcript

Headlines

December 19, 2012

Lake reaching critical lows

City could face water conservation in January

NORMAN — Norman is facing water conservation measures as early as January, according to Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District Executive Director Randy Worden. COMCD is the guardian of the water quality and supply in Lake Thunderbird.

Worden told the Norman City Council that his board will send out a letter after Christmas asking its three municipal water customers — Midwest City, Del City and Norman — to reduce usage of the lake water supply by 10 percent.

“As you know, we’ve been in this drought for about two-and-a-half years,” Worden said. “Right now, Del City and Midwest City have adequate groundwater supplies to meet any reduction in Lake Thunderbird, so they’re in pretty good shape, but Norman is in the worst shape from a water supply perspective.”

If COMCD requests a 10 percent reduction, it will affect what Norman withdraws from the lake.

“Residents will be asked to conserve,” Utilities Director Ken Komiske said.

Worden said discussions with the national weather service indicates that “they believe this drought will continue.”

“We’re in exceptional drought,” Worden said. “Everyone knows it’s serious.”

Ground saturation indicates that the 4- to 16-inch soil depth, which supports landscaping and grass, is very dry. Deeper levels are being affected as well.

“It’s starting to get into the 32-inch level that affects big trees,” Worden said.

Future forecasts indicate little relief in sight.

“They anticipate a drier-than-normal spring, which does not bode well for the lake and our water supply,” Worden said.

While the modeling is not conclusive, Worden said weather experts say the drought could last for an extended period of two or three more years.

“We are near record lows in the lake, and — in anticipation of extended drought — we will be asking the cities to use conservation measures,” he said.

Legislation that would allow relief from outside water sources passed in the U.S. House of Representatives but has been held up in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, is carrying that bill, but politics has it stuck in committee and hope is dwindling for getting it passed this legislative session, despite bipartisan support.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Body 1 Police identify woman found dead Monday

    Norman police have identified a woman found dead in her home at 2202 Donna Drive Monday afternoon. Police responded at 1:25 p.m. to the residence of Cassandra Thompson, 30, after receiving a report that she had not shown up for work ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents speak out about document regarding shelter photos

    Norman and metro-area residents showed up in overwhelming numbers, many in red shirts, for an Animal Shelter Oversight Board meeting Monday night demanding for their opinions to be heard....

    July 29, 2014

  • Mixon’s attorney says athlete acted in self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense. “This past Friday morning, Joe Mixon found himself in a situation ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • Be ready for ‘prolonged’ Gaza war, prime minister says

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Signaling an escalation of Israel’s Gaza operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis Monday to be ready for a “prolonged” war, and the military warned Palestinians in three large neighborhoods to ...

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014

  • County moves forward on nursing home bonds

    Cleveland County commissioners on Monday approved a resolution authoring a county trust to issue up to $15 million for a nursing home on the site of the former Whispering Pines nursing home at 501 E. Robinson St....

    July 29, 2014

  • Deal to improve health care costs $17B

    WASHINGTON — A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department of ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Little Axe Health Center hosting blood drive

    Norman-area blood donors this summer will not only save lives when they donate with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI), they’ll also get “Feel Cool” T-shirts and two tickets to the Oklahoma City Zoo....

    July 29, 2014