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President Barack Obama signs bill to augment Lake Thunderbird water supply

Rep. Tom Cole and Sen. Jim Inhofe authored a bill signed Thursday by President Barack Obama that will augment the water supply at Lake Thunderbird. Norman residents have been preparing for unusual wintertime water rationing due to low water levels at the central Oklahoma lake.
by Chris Casteel Modified: January 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm •  Published: January 11, 2013

“Bringing more water to Lake Thunderbird is a commonsense solution that costs taxpayers nothing.”

The legislation was necessary because the federal law that established the lake and a dam didn't provide for water transfers from outside of the basin.

Norman, Midwest City and Del City get water from the lake.

The cost of any water purchased would be borne by the conservancy district.

The bill does not increase the capacity of the lake.

In comments after the bill passed, Midwest City Mayor Jack Fry said, “This legislation has been very much needed to avoid a possible crisis.

“The Conservancy District's ability to purchase water as a result of a drought or transfer water from other areas would be impossible without this legislation. This will provide the opportunity to avoid future problems of water supply.”

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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After another year of drought, it's more important than ever to ensure Central Oklahoma has a reliable supply of water.

Rep. Tom Cole,
R-Moore

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