The Norman Transcript

Opinion

March 27, 2013

Water quantity, quality top issue in election

NORMAN — Interviews with political candidates, surveys and statements at public forums remind us of the importance of fresh water. Every candidate lists water quantity and quality as Norman’s top issue going forward. Water, they say, may be the new oil. With new methods to extract and reuse, water and oil are becoming more alike.

Experts tell us we are in a drought cycle not seen in this area since the 1950s. That was when Norman began its preparation for Lake Thunderbird, our dominant water source. The only way to fill the lake is through precipitation. It’s currently 7.5 feet below the conservation pool level.

A wet spring and early summer would help. Like the groundhog’s prediction of an early spring, we don’t look for it to happen. Norman’s situation is troubling, but it isn’t quite as drastic as those interviewed by Oklahoma Watch this past Sunday.

While we fret about odd-even watering restrictions and what kind of landscape to plant, residents near Stillwater are close to draining their reservoir with a rescue pipeline still five months away.

The answer for Norman’s water issues will likely be a combination of strategies. The city’s long-range water study is identifying them. They include purchase of raw water from Oklahoma City, repurposing some of our older water wells, reuse of reclaimed water and better conservation.

It also will take a combination of resources to make it work. City officials are already contemplating a rate increase election for water customers. Norman is one of the few cities that has to go to the people to vote in utility rate increases.

Even if we get some rain, the reprieve will only be temporary and shouldn’t be used as a reason to punt this issue down the road. Norman’s future depends on it.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Help better than commentary

    For the last seven years, I have helped run Hands Helping Paws, an animal welfare and rescue group that fosters Norman’s abandoned animals and advocates for spay and neuter initiatives to reduce our community’s problems with stray and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Stick to the sports

    Editor, The Transcript: Why must we, especially us nice conservatives, be subjected to political commentary in a sports column? I hear/view Fox News routinely and find their coverage quite acceptable. I also hear/view CNN and MSNBC. I ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Corporation Commission should should evaluate quakes, fracturing

    Editor, The Transcript: Is your house at risk of being damaged in an earthquake because of fracking? Maybe. We’ve seen more earthquakes and tremors in Oklahoma seven months into 2014 than in the two previous years combined. At the same ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Norman can stop fracking before it escalates

    Editor, The Transcript: There are 163 fracked wells within Norman city limits. With growing attention to health and safety concerns, the city is considering changes to the existing oil and gas ordinance....

    July 27, 2014

  • We should be offended by things that matter

    Editor, The Transcript: I’m offended. Why you say? I live in the USA, in Norman — a great town. What could possibly offend me? I’ll tell you. It’s people that are offended by the most meaningless things (what to call an evergreen tree in ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Porch leap looked muchbigger as a kid

    It’s no secret that porch designs have changed over the years. Drive through new Norman developments and look at the porches. Most only have room for a potted plant and a spot to drop those UPS packages, no place for a porch swing or ...

    July 27, 2014

  • State, local jobmarkets look up

    A tight labor market is often a big problem for economic development professionals. They need to be able to promise companies that there are willing workers in the community’s labor pool....

    July 26, 2014