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Lawton Moves To Stricter Water Rationing As Lake Levels Continue To Drop

The dam at Lake Ellsworth in January 2014.
Flickr Creative Commons
The dam at Lake Ellsworth in January 2014.

Last week, the city council in Duncan discussed moving to Stage 4 water rationing, which would limit outdoor watering to just one day per week. Now, officials in Lawton are instituting tougher city-wide water restrictions.

As Wichita Falls, Texas’ KAUZ reports, recent rains in southwest Oklahoma haven’t helped the situation much:

Scorching temperatures and a lack of rain have dropped the combined usable water level at lakes Lawtonka, Ellsworth, and Waurika below 50-percent. Since March, officials said Stage 2 restrictions have worked well, but Lawton has only received 8.5 inches of rain this year. Even with the recent rain they got it was too little, too late.

Lawton will move to Stage 3 water rationing, which means outdoor watering just two days each week from midnight until 9 a.m and fines of up to $750 for the first violation.

StateImpact will have more next week on the water crisis facing communities across southwest Oklahoma and their plans to keep from running out during what are expected to be the hotter, drier decades ahead.


StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership among Oklahoma’s public radio stations and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Logan Layden is a reporter and managing editor for StateImpact Oklahoma. Logan spent six years as a reporter with StateImpact from 2011 to 2017.
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