DUNCAN — Duncan has collected more than $14,000 in fines since the city began rationing water last year, but dropping lake levels are prompting local leaders to consider even tougher restrictions.
City Manager Jim Frieda says the fines were collected for 112 violations of the city's rationing measures, which were enacted to address a decreasing water supply in Waurika Lake. The restrictions ban all outdoor watering of lawns and gardens except for during a nine-hour window twice a week.
The city's daily water consumption has been reduced from 9 million gallons to 4.2 million gallons since the restrictions were put in place, Frieda said. A first offense is punishable by $149 in fines and court costs, while a second offense is $199 and a third offense is $299.
Duncan uses Waurika Lake as its water supply. As of Monday morning, the lake's level was at 931.77 feet above sea level — compared with a normal elevation of 951.4 feet above sea level.
The dropping lake level, attributed to ongoing drought conditions, has prompted the City Council to consider a measure next month banning all water outdoor usage and increasing the fines for violators, the Duncan Banner reported.
The lake, which was opened in 1977, provides drinking water to Lawton, Walters, Temple, Duncan, Comanche and Waurika.