“Corps to release water from Canton Lake,” according to press release from the City of Oklahoma City
Press release from the City of Oklahoma City:
Corps to release water from Canton Lake
The Army Corps of Engineers will begin releasing 30,000 acre-feet of water from Canton Lake in northwest Oklahoma into the North Canadian River on January 30, 2013.
“We put off the release as long as possible,” said Marsha Slaughter, Utilities Department director for the City of Oklahoma City. “The recent rain will help prevent the released water from being absorbed into the dry river bed.”
The water released will take about two weeks to reach Oklahoma City where it will be captured in Lakes Hefner and replenish the drinking water supply that serves about 1.2 million people. The January release will have little improvement on recreation at the Oklahoma City lake levels.
“We don’t take water releases for recreational purposes,” Slaughter said. We take the water only to replenish water supply.”
For the past five decades, Oklahoma City has experienced above average rainfall, and water releases were few. The past two droughts have been hard on all Oklahoma Lakes and the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center expects the drought to continue in 2013. Most Oklahoma lakes are below normal pool elevation.
The City of Oklahoma City has implemented a mandatory odd/even water rotation program. This requires all water customers in Oklahoma City and in the communities that use its water are required to water yards according to the house numbers of their addresses. More stringent programs could be implemented as temperatures and water demand increase. The City’s Utilities Department has partnered with the OSU Extension Horticulture and Landscaping Department to promote water conservation and drought-tolerant landscaping to the metro-area residents and businesses.
“Typically, the fall and spring rains refill the lakes,” Slaughter said. “However, rainfall has been well below average. Oklahoma City received 29.5 inches of rain in 2012, 7 inches below average rainfall.”
The Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust owns water rights in Canton Lake and has used it since the 1950s.