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Duncan Left Wanting After State Drought Assistance For Water Project Falls Through

Welcome to Duncan, Okla. sign.
Flickr Creative Commons

Duncan, Oklahoma has taken some of the worst of the drought these past five years. Stage 5 water rationing is in effect, which means — with few exceptions — a ban on all outside watering.

One option the city was looking at to relieve its drought disaster was to pump water from nearby Clear Creek Lake, but as The Oklahoman‘s Silas Allen reports, funding from that project will have to come from somewhere other than the Oklahoma Water Resources Board:

Duncan applied late last year for a $500,000 drought mitigation grant from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. City official hoped to use the funding to pump water from Clear Creek Lake, a reservoir the city hasn’t used in decades. The board announced the list of grant recipients earlier this month, and Duncan wasn’t among them.

OWRB Executive Director J.D. Strong told The Oklahoman the reason Duncan was denied the grant is simple: Because funds are limited, they go to much smaller, and even more desperate, communities.

This year’s grants went to Shattuck, Fort Supply, Boise City and Frontier Development Authority in Butler. All four communities have populations less than 2,000. Duncan’s estimated population in 2013 was 23,400, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Not all hope is lost for the Clear Creek Lake project, however. The city is now looking for help from the federal government. Meanwhile…

Duncan officials are also moving forward with a pipeline project that would carry water from Waurika Lake directly to Lake Humphreys, a city-owned reservoir, bypassing the Lake Humphreys pump station. That project is being funded by the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation.


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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