Study Lays Out $2.3B Water Pipeline Proposal

Saturday, May 16th 2009, 12:21 pm
By: News On 6

Associated Press

NORMAN, OK -- More than a dozen central Oklahoma communities could team up to pay $2.3 billion to build a pipeline that would transport water from the southeastern part of the state.

A study prepared for the cities by the engineering company CDM suggested that the plan connecting to Sardis Lake and the Kiamichi River would be the cheapest option to bring in water from southeastern Oklahoma.

Oklahoma City's share would be about $1 billion under that plan, which is aimed at quenching the region's water needs through at least 2060. A CDM representative presented the plan to the Norman City Council this week.

Other cities involved in the proposed plan include Edmond, Midwest City, Mustang, Yukon, Shawnee and Moore.

No action has been taken on the proposal. A timeline suggested the entities should form a legal trust this year, secure water rights in the Sardis Lake area, and decide exactly where to build the new pipeline.

Bryan Mitchell of CDM told a Norman City Council conference Thursday that getting started is important because water demand is expected to exceed current supply by 2030 and the current pipeline from Atoka could reach 100 percent capacity 10 years before that.

The entities would split the costs based on their usage of water, the pipeline, and water treatment. Entities closer to southeastern Oklahoma wouldn't have to pay as much because they wouldn't be using as much of the pipeline or water treatment plants.

Chickasha, Del City, Seminole and the Central Oklahoma Water Resource Authority -- which consists of Calumet, El Reno, Mustang, Yukon, Piedmont, Okarche, Union City and Canadian County -- are also involved in the study.

Mitchell said a Texas county's lawsuit seeking to bring Oklahoma water across the state line does not affect the plan.