Water committee makes recommendations

September 19, 2023

The Water Resources Committee made several recommendations to move the City closer to securing long-term water alternatives for the region during a meeting held last week at City Hall.

The committee recommended more review of four options presented by City staff during previous committee meetings. No final actions were taken during the meeting, said Water Utilities Director Terry Lauritsen.

“Essentially, the committee recommended that we dive more deeply into these four options, all of which were presented previously and some of which are ongoing,” said Lauritsen.

The options include:

  • Reallocation of 10 million gallons of water per day (mgd) of flood control to water supply at Hulah Lake, the City’s primary water supply source.
  • Securing the remaining 2 mgd at Copan Lake through a possible partnership with the town of Copan, and reallocation of 10.5 mgd of flood control to water supply.
  • Explore potential partnerships with other communities and tribes to reduce the cost of acquiring water rights at Kaw Lake, located in Kay County. The lake has 40 mgd available; however, to acquire water rights and construct the infrastructure to access it would cost an estimated $150 million.
  • Pursue a grant to further study the yield and sustainability for use of the Ada-Vamoosa Aquifer, located in Osage County.

Adoption of any of the options would serve as an additional water source and would not replace the City’s primary water supply sources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-owned Hulah and Copan lakes, the City-owned Hudson Lake, and the Caney River.

The committee is expected to meet next at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 28 at City Hall, 401 S. Johnstone Ave.