The Edmond Sun

Local News

July 12, 2011

Edmond follows OKC into water rationing

EDMOND — Mandatory water rationing is effective immediately in Edmond. The City of Edmond has announced the watering of lawns will depend on odd to even addresses for residences and businesses.

Double-digit temperatures in Edmond this summer combined with less than average rainfall has increased water usage in the community, causing the City of Edmond to temporarily buy additional water from Oklahoma City, said Fred Rice, Edmond Water Resources superintendent.

The schedule will follow Oklahoma City’s water conservation schedule and applies to watering lawns. Residents and businesses with even-numbered addresses can water on even-numbered days and odd numbered addresses on odd-numbered days.

“This applies to only irrigation systems and sprinklers. Hand watering with a hose is allowed every day,” said Ashleigh Clark, public information officer for the City of Edmond.

It is not known yet how long the rationing will remain in effect.

Edmond’s water purchasing agreement with Oklahoma City requires that Edmond must implement water conservation whenever Oklahoma City conserves water, Rice said. Deer Creek, Moore, Piedmont, El Reno, Norman, Mustang, Blanchard, the Village, Warr Acres, Lake Alumna and Yukon are also part of the water rationing schedule.

“We don’t purchase water from them on a regular basis,” Rice said. “We have a small neighborhood in the south end of Edmond that has been traditionally fed by Oklahoma City water for many years. That amounts to about 1 million gallons of usage a year.”

Rice said the city has purchased less than 2-million gallons of Oklahoma City water during this heat event, which is not much when considering the city’s daily usage, he explained.

“We’re making about 20-million to 21-million gallons of water a day,” Rice said of current production. “…Our average daily flow for the year for calendar year 2010, was 10.6-million gallons per day.”

The city’s winter usage of water ranges between 7-million and 9-million gallons a day, while summertime usage is between 18-million to 22-million gallons per day. Councilwoman Elizabeth Waner said Edmond is fortunate to have water available when many Oklahoma communities lack resources.

“With that said, we all need to be mindful of the need to moderate our use,” Waner said. She recommends that people stagger their water usage habits in order to avoid too much peak demand between the hours of 7-9 a.m. or 6-8 p.m.

Oklahoma City’s water rationing plan is actually less stringent than Edmond’s voluntary water rationing plan, Waner said. For example, the city’s voluntary plan would ask for residents with an address ending with numeral 7 to water on certain days.

“Mine ends in a 9 so we would water on a Saturday and Monday,” Waner said. “The Oklahoma City plan would allow me to water every other day.”

 Mayor Patrice Douglas said Edmond is well positioned with an adequate water supply for the next 20 years because of its agreement with Oklahoma City.

“Water is always going to be an important resource and we always want to be looking toward the future,” Douglas said. “Cities all over Oklahoma are coming together to look at what Oklahoma’s water needs are going to be for the next 50 to 100 years.”

Central Oklahoma’s water needs are expected to more than double before 2060, said Bryan Mitchell, CDM project manager. The use of pipelines bringing water to central Oklahoma will be beyond capacity by 2020, he said in previous reports.

Sardis Lake in southeastern Oklahoma could supply a future 100-mile water pipeline going parallel to Oklahoma City’s Atoka pipeline, Mitchell said. The Atoka pipeline alone could not carry the volume required, he added.

Delivering the water with a pipeline and pump station to the metro by 2020 would cost about $1 billion, Mitchell said.

The City of Edmond’s 50-Year Water Supply Stakeholder Steering Committee has identified water resources for the long-term good of Edmond. Currently, City of Edmond water comes from Arcadia Lake and a system of water wells operated by the city.

City Manager Larry Stevens said the city continues its interest in the Regional Raw Water Supply Study. Securing prosperity and economic development has led Edmond, Oklahoma City, Moore, Norman, Seminole, Shawnee, Chickasha, Calera, Midwest City and Del City to join together to investigate long-term solutions, Rice said. Oklahoma City has hired a consultant to lead the project.

“The regional approach to long-term water supply is something we think makes a lot of sense,” Stevens said. “As a community we think we should be involved in that.”

jcoburn@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 114

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