For the past five decades, Oklahoma City has experienced above average rainfall, and water releases were few. The past two droughts have been hard on all Oklahoma lakes and the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center expects the drought to continue in 2013. Most Oklahoma lakes are below normal pool elevation.
Oklahoma City has implemented a mandatory odd/even water rotation program. All water customers in Oklahoma City and in the communities that use its water are required to water yards according to the house numbers of their addresses. More stringent programs could be implemented as temperatures and water demand increase.
“Typically, the fall and spring rains refill the lakes,” Slaughter said. “However, rainfall has been well below average. Oklahoma City received 29.5 inches of rain in 2012, 7 inches below average rainfall.”
The Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust owns water rights in Canton Lake and has used it since the 1950s.