Water conservation efforts said to be working

Jason Angus Reporter

September 22, 2013

“I’m proud of our citizens for taking the baton and running with conservation because it really is working,” said Altus Emergency Management Director Lloyd Colston. After receiving figures from the Altus Water Department, Colston reported that water usage in the City of Altus from June to July is the lowest it has been since 1977.

“We have water. It’s a limited resource that we’re not yet rationing, and conservation is working so far. Plus we’re getting rain,” Colston said. “We will get through this drought. I support everybody’s effort including the Ministerial Alliance for praying for rain. This is a “we” time, a community time.”

Colston reminds citizens of this simple message: “Use the water you need, but need the water you use.”

While conservation efforts are having a huge impact on slowing down the depletion of Lake Tom Steed and Lake Lugert Altus, their water levels continue to decline.

In mid-July, Lake Tom Steed was at 32 percent full. During a special City Council meeting on August 15, Will Archer, Manager of the Mountain Park Master Conservancy District, informed City Council that Steed was at 30 percent. As of Tuesday, Sept. 17, after receiving some rain, Councilman Rick Steen reported the water level was at 26 percent.

The City of Altus currently is actively searching for alternative sources of water. City Council approved a contract with Freese and Nichols, Inc., for hydrological services during a regular City Council meeting on July 16. Freese and Nichols was hired to evaluate Round Timber Water Well field for water yield and quality.

On Tuesday, Councilman Dwayne Martin informed that there were crews and equipment on site at Round Timber Water Well field pulling equipment, hooking up to infrastructure, pumping water, and measuring volumes. “We’ve got favorable results on volume and quality so far,” Martin said. “We’re largely confirming what we think we already knew.” Martin stated it has been very productive so far.