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11:32 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Corps begins water release at Canton Lake for OKC

Canton Lake
Credit Oklahoma Fishing Guide

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers has begun releasing water from Canton Lake in northwestern Oklahoma to help replenish the drinking water supply in Oklahoma City.

Debbie Ragan, a spokeswoman for the city's utilities department, says the release began Wednesday morning. Ragan says 30,000 acre-feet of water will be released into the North Canadian River and captured in Lake Hefner to replenish the drinking water supply that serves about 1.2 million people. It should take about two weeks for the water to reach Oklahoma City.

The water release has been criticized by state Sen. Bryce Marlatt of Woodward, who says the city should impose stricter conservation efforts before taking water from western Oklahoma.

Marlatt says removing the water will devastate Canton Lake's role as a regional fish hatchery.