Rural Oklahoma Communities Face Water Shortages


Thursday, July 7th 2011, 6:40 pm
By: News On 6


Lacie Lowry, News On 6

ROGERS COUNTY -- High temperatures, lack of rain and increased water usage is drying up resources for some rural water districts.

Those in charge at Rogers County's District Three are pleading with customers to conserve or harsh restrictions may be needed.

7/6/2011 Related Story: Some Rogers County Residents Asked To Conserve Water

The District Manager says things are usually fine in the summer, but because the hotter temperatures started earlier this year, the higher usage did too.

"We can't even use the restroom anymore. We actually have to take a bucket, slowly fill it with water and then pour that down so we can actually get it to flush," Linda Look said.

Look is a customer of the Rogers County Rural Water District Number Three, which can't keep up with the demand this summer.

"Our pipelines are just being drawn from all the usage from this hot weather," Rick Stull said.

The usage is so high, the gap is growing between supply and demand.

"We pump about 2 million gallons a day on this side and we make about 1.5 million gallons on that side," Stull said.

And the lower the water level in the towers, the less water pressure customers have.

"Currently, they're down almost in the stem with the water, so that's how bad it is right now," he said.

To catch up, the district is asking all of its 8,200 customers to conserve water, from filling up pools to using sprinklers on your lawn in the heat of the day.

Jim Michaels is conserving water, but admits he's never had problems with the water pressure.

"Maybe a little fluctuation when someone is taking a shower or whatever, but as far as I know, the pressure is the same as it always is," Michaels said.

But for customers like Look, that conservation could make the difference.

"Be a good neighbor, think about your neighbor, because not everyone is experiencing the same thing," she said.

Craig County Rural Water District Number Two has also been having problems. They say they found and isolated a leak at 4 a.m. Thursday morning that was affecting 38 meters. They have been working all day to repair the leak.