Tulsans React To Plea For Voluntary Water Conservation


Wednesday, August 3rd 2011, 10:05 pm
By: News On 6


Lacie Lowry, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Record usage this summer has Tulsa asking people to conserve water, especially when it comes to watering lawns. Most of the city splash pads are closed, in part to save water loss.

The splash pad at 41st and Riverside is the only that will stay open since it re-circulates its water.

City leaders hope other cutbacks come from residents.

"The grass is brown and crispy; we don't water the lawn. But this is my concern," said Tulsa resident Jennifer Bengel, who uses her garden to help feed her family. 

"I just planted 14 tomatoes, and I have an established vegetable garden already," she said.

Bengel's already cut back her watering, but fears her garden will go on the chopping block if others don't follow the city's water usage recommendations.

"I want to keep my vegetables alive. They can't go a day without water," she said.

8/3/2011 Related Story: City Of Tulsa Asks Customers To Voluntarily Limit Water Usage

Everyone is asked to voluntarily limit outdoor watering to every other day between midnight and noon.

Susan Little didn't even know about the voluntary steps.

"I was in Montana for a couple of weeks, and I came back and everything was brown," said Tulsa resident Susan Little.

Not everything.

We found several homes watering their green lawns and businesses running sprinklers in the afternoon.

Little thinks everyone can switch their routine for a while.

"I think that's a smart sacrifice, especially with the grass fires that crop up and needing water pressure for the fire departments," she said.

On Monday and Tuesday, Tulsa used 207 million gallons of water. The City would like to see demand drop to 195 million gallons per day.

"I just planted these the other night at 11 o'clock," said gardener Jennifer Bengel.

Bengel says the voluntary rationing should not be limited to residential customers.

"There are lots of corporations here in town and small businesses too that have big extensive stretches of grass that they could let go brown like I've done with mine and help everybody else out," she said.

We asked viewers whether they plan to voluntarily cut back their water usage in a NewsOn6.com poll. The results: 78 percent said "yes," and 22 percent say "no."