On Tap tonight cancelled in Oklahoma City
Filed by Ben Allen in Feature.
February 20, 2013
Update: We’ve decided to cancel On Tap tonight because of the weather conditions. We hope to reschedule soon. Still, if you want a preview of what we”ll talk about, read on.
I got a cheat sheet from StateImpact Oklahoma’s Joe Wertz.
What’s the current situation?
“Oklahoma City is pulling water in from Lake Canton, they’re pulling water in from southeastern Oklahoma. Right now, there’s a mandatory restriction on watering lawns, it’s odd-even days. So we’re seeing some early conservation efforts to try to help alleviate the situation from the drought.”
“Del City, Mid-Del, that whole area, there’s tense negotiations for different cities and communities worrying about their water supplies and looking down the road at addressing their future needs.”
How many different opinions are there?
“The question is, how do you balance out these different needs? All the lakes were set up for water supply and in some cases, for power generation. But lakes, rivers, streams, reservoirs, these things are all used for lots of different things. They’re used for navigation, business, irrigation, manufacturing, tourism, that’s really become an evolved use in Oklahoma.
Lakes, reservoirs, these things are big economic engines. When you take water out of one lake and put it in another lake, you’re really potentially draining the economy out of that area.”
Is there a general theme to the debate?
“This is always a delicate balancing act. What’s making this all more relevant is the drought. There’s less and less of this resource for people to fight over.”
As we hit year three of the drought, is some of the water lost forever?
“We’re talking about things that we can control, and things we can’t control. There’s really not much we as Oklahomans can do about climate and weather in the short term. We can’t make it rain or control these environmental factors. But there are things that we can change. We can control infrastructure, we can have an impact on conservation, we can impact efficiency, we can build new storage facilities. But this all comes at a cost.”
“Infrastruture is very, very expensive. Water projects are some of the most expensive capital expenditures that you’ll see on the balance sheets of any city or community, from tiny ones like Konawa to large ones like Oklahoma City.”
Tonight, you’ll hear from representatives of the city of Oklahoma City, Canton Lake, and a group quickly trying to build a pipeline to connect a small community, Long Chimney, to Stillwater’s water system.
It’s free, and gets started at 6 PM, Picasso’s Cafe in Oklahoma City.