The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

June 27, 2013

Enid needs immediate plan to conserve its water

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Summer’s here and the temperatures have been climbing.

We’re also entering what traditionally is the dry part of the year. Now, we heard Mayor Bill Shewey tell Enid Rotary Club members the community probably will experience a water shortage this summer.

That happened last year and led city officials to institute water rationing, which didn’t prove to be too popular among many residents, but which was needed.

The city has taken steps to help with the issue, but those steps aren’t going to be immediate. For one, two large water towers are being constructed, one near Meadowlake Park and one at 30th and Chestnut.

The city also has been actively pursuing new water sources, and Koch Nitrogen, the largest user of Enid water, plans to cut back its use of potable water and use more treated water, so-called gray water.

Those steps, as we said, will help out, but they aren’t going to be immediate. On top of that, the area has been dealing with three years of drought that have kept aquifers from being recharged.

What we’d like to see city officials do, and something we advocated earlier this year, is come out with a water conservation plan now.

Enid wouldn’t be the first city to announce plans for water rationing. In fact, Enid would be a late comer.

According to Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, communities that already have instituted water rationing include Bartlesville, El Reno, Lawton, Moore, Mustang, Newcastle, Norman, Oklahoma City, Tinker Air Force Base and Yukon.

Most of those communities have instituted an odd-even system for watering lawns.

That means people with odd addresses can water lawns on odd days, and those with even addresses can water on even days.

Last year’s water conservation plan came down too late from the city. And, many residents didn’t do their part and follow the guidelines.

We’d like to see a conservation plan from the city soon — an odd-even system seems best — and we’d like to see residents take it seriously

Rationing is not the city trying to stick it to anyone, it’s the responsible thing to do during times of water shortages.