It’s well-known that we’ve already outgrown the capacity of the Enid Isolated Terrace aquifer.
We rely on wells fed by an aquifer following the path of the Cimarron River.
Estimates show that our water supply could drain down dramatically in about seven decades.
In several well fields west of town, pumps are pulling water from the aquifer and pushing it toward Enid. One line is old and small and could be replaced.
PDF: Map of reservoir proposals
Considering the city’s priorities, the best option appears to be acquiring water rights for 40 additional wells southeast of Ames.
That total project is expensive — with estimates of $136 million over the next half century — but that’s a drop in the bucket compared to startup costs for a new lake.
Putting straws in the same glass only goes so far. Engineering consultant Karl Stickley also told Enid City Commissioners of three options for building a reservoir near Enid.
The first would be a so-called Hennessey Lake. Simply to build that reservoir would cost $279 million.
It would terminate with a dam near Bison and have a drainage basin of 312 square miles running northward alongside Vance Air Force Base.
The next option would be Lahoma Lake. A third option would be Sheridan Lake, nearly 30 miles away to the southeast between Hennessey and Marshall.
Recreation is a consideration that could generate potential tourism dollars, but the primary goal should be a sustainable water supply. We need to consider what we can afford while contemplating diversifying our resources to fortify our future.
Visit EnidNews.com to see a map of three proposed reservoirs near Enid.