Oklahoma City's water sources hold steady after late spring rains

Five of the six reservoirs from which Oklahoma City draws its water remained several feet below normal Thursday afternoon. But a rainy spring has left the city’s water supply in better shape than it was in mid-May.
by Silas Allen Modified: July 12, 2014 at 11:00 am •  Published: July 12, 2014
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It’s hard to get too excited about a lake that remains nearly 12 feet below normal, but Jeff Converse is trying.

Still reeling from the loss of 30,000 acre-feet of water to Oklahoma City last year, Canton Lake has seen drastically low water levels for months. But Converse, the president of the Canton Lake Association, sounds optimistic after a wet spring.

“I guess the best way you could put it is, it’s stable,” he said.

“That’s a victory, as far as I’m concerned.”

Five of the six reservoirs from which Oklahoma City draws its water still were several feet below normal Thursday afternoon. But a rainy spring has left the city’s water supply in better shape than it was in mid-May.

May and June brought more rain than usual to much of northwest Oklahoma. An Oklahoma Mesonet weather network site in Fairview, about 18 miles northeast of Canton, measured nearly 6 inches of rain in June. That’s about 1.4 inches more than the town receives in an average June.

In Woodward, which lies upstream from Canton Lake, a Mesonet site measured about 6.5 inches of rain in June — about 2.3 inches more than average.

Converse, who lives in Woodward and owns a trailer at Canton Lake, said the heavy rains the area has seen in late spring and early summer have improved the situation somewhat. The lake was 11.98 feet below normal Thursday, up from 12.6 feet below normal on May 27. Converse hopes that if the lake levels don’t dip too far over the summer, a rainy autumn could help refill the lake.

“Keeping it steady or up a little bit through the summer is progress,” he said.

Water levels at Canton Lake have hovered between 12 and 13 feet below normal since January 2013, when Oklahoma City drew 30,000 acre-feet of water to replenish Lake Hefner.

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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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Lake levels

Here are levels for OKC water sources as of

Thursday:

Lake Hefner: 3.8 feet below normal

Lake Overholser: 3.1 feet below normal

Canton Lake: 11.98 feet below normal

Lake Stanley Draper: 3.4 feet below normal

Atoka Lake: 6.2 feet below normal

McGee Creek Reservoir: 0.3 feet below normal

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