The Norman Transcript

Local news

February 2, 2013

Drought raises well water quality concerns

NORMAN — Drought has been a big part of our state since we became one. With the ongoing drought I have been receiving calls regarding water wells for drinking and irrigation. Residents have been asking how fluctuating water tables and low or dry creeks, rivers and lakes, will affect water quantity in their wells.

The concern over water is fairly new to most people because during the last 30 wet years it was rarely a topic of discussion. When people overused water, their view was never that they were “wasting” since after all, it was so abundant at the time. 2011 and 2012 changed all that and now it’s not just farmers and ranchers concerned about conserving water.    

While residents on the city water system are forced to use less water, rural residents, farmers and ranchers who use water wells for drinking, irrigation and livestock water do not typically fall under these mandates. Does this mean they should continue with business as usual and waste water?

No. In fact, during times when water supplies are dangerously low, everyone should take initiative and do their part to conserve.

This exceptional drought has impacted groundwater levels in many areas of our state and some residents who use water wells are concerned.

Groundwater, which is found in aquifers below the ground, is one of our most important natural resources. In fact, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, groundwater is the source of about 38 percent of the water that county and city water departments supply to households and businesses (public supply). It also provides drinking water for more than 97 percent of rural populations who cannot access water from a county/city water department or rural water district. With so many people relying on groundwater for drinking and irrigation, you can imagine what a strain this can place on supplies during droughts.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • Bad year won’t dampen peachy tradition

    PORTER — A rusting, silver-colored water tower tells visitors to this rural town between Muskogee and Tulsa that they’ve come to the “Peach Capitol of Oklahoma.” Residents of Stratford, the state’s other self-proclaimed peach capital, ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Union Market opens this fall on campus

    Shelves are being stocked as employees buzz around like busy bees and activities are in the last stages of prep as the University of Oklahoma anticipates the opening of its new eatery Union Market, located in the Oklahoma Memorial Union in ...

    July 26, 2014

  • OU football recruit under investigation in assault case

    An attorney representing Joe Mixon confirmed Friday evening that the highly-recruited Oklahoma running back is being investigated by Norman Police in connection with an incident in which a woman suffered multiple facial fractures early ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Campus Cornerassault

    Norman Police responded to an alleged aggravated assault at the Campus Corner Pickelmans Gourmet Cafe early Friday morning....

    July 26, 2014

  • OU physicist receives $1M grant

    A University of Oklahoma physicist has received a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to develop a quantum enhanced plasmonic sensor. The emerging field of physics known as quantum plasmonics will enable technology for sensing ...

    July 26, 2014

  • OU awarded Mellon Grant

    The University of Oklahoma has been awarded a $572,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the development of a digital library of Latin texts of all eras. The Digital Latin Library — a Linked Open Data resource — represents a ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Veterans’ breakfast set

    Veterans are invited to a free breakfast from 6 to 11 a.m. Tuesday as Tiffany’s Restaurant, 101 S. Main St., hosts the second annual David Bolser Veteran’s Appreciation Breakfast....

    July 26, 2014

  • Junior Police Graduation First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014