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Lawton council eyes water line from Texas

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Modified: August 7, 2014 at 8:28 am •  Published: August 7, 2014
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LAWTON — Lawton City Council members are examining a proposal that could bring needed water from Texas to Oklahoma.

Lawton received more rain than usual from 1980 to 2010, said Jerry Ihler, the city's public works director. But since then he said Lawton has received about 76 inches less rain than average.

If Lawton doesn't receive more rain, Ihler said the city would likely move to a higher stage of water restrictions by September or October, a local newspaper reported.

A water proposal was discussed at the council's meeting Wednesday, with members eyeing an option that would build a pipeline from Texas.

Guernsey Engineers Architects Consultants said a water line could be constructed from the Texas Panhandle to Southwest Oklahoma.

The firm said some Texas ranchers have excess water and that they are interested in selling. But they said there are still many details that need to be hammered out, including the pipeline's route, size and construction and operation costs.

"Politically, taking water from Texas to Oklahoma City has some warts on it," said Ken Larry Roach of Guernsey. But he said the political problems might not be such an issue if the pipeline brought water to other Texas cities as well. Estimates show the region could supply 20 million gallons a day for more than 200 years.

The Lawton City Council unanimously voted to issue a letter of interest in the project.