NPR Story
2:14 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Duncan Eyes More Severe Water Restrictions Despite Weakening Drought

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J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

The water situation for the city of Duncan continues to deteriorate. Despite improving drought conditions in the area, portions of Stephens County — where Duncan is located — are still in the severe or exceptional drought categories.

So, at a meeting Tuesday, the Duncan City Council voted to move from the Stage 3 rationing the city has been under since March 2013 — which limits outdoor watering to the early morning hours twice a week — to Stage 4, but delayed implementation until October.

From The Duncan Banner‘s Steve Olafson:

The delay is designed to give residents plenty of time to get used to the idea of stricter water rationing when the city moves to the Stage 4 level of water conservation.

But the council voted to make Stage 4 rationing less harsh than it otherwise would be.

Under the city’s revamped conservation law, residents will be able to water lawns and do other outdoor chores such as wash cars or hose down driveways one day each week during Stage 4 rationing.

Previously, a Stage 4 designation would have meant an all out ban on outdoor watering. Instead, the council created a Stage 5, which bans outdoor watering with a few business exceptions, and could move to it in the future, as the water levels if the city’s reservoirs continue “plummeting:”

Public Works Director Scott Vaughn said it was a bad idea to allow watering during daylight hours because of the high evaporation rate in the heat.

“Our lakes are still plummeting,” Vaughn said. “I can’t predict what will happen.”

… Lake Fuqua is at 39 percent capacity while Lake Humphreys is at 46 percent, according to Vaughn.

The city is still in the designing stage of building a pipeline bypass to replenish Lake Humphreys with water from Waurika Lake.

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