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Water from Canton Lake headed to OKC


OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma is in a severe drought, it’s no doubt.

Lakes across the state are in dire need of more water.

Now, Oklahoma City is getting some help from another lake in our state.

City officials said it is necessary to pull from Lake Canton but plenty of people aren’t happy about it.

Lake Hefner is the main source of drinking water for more than a million people in the Oklahoma City area.

Lake Hefner is currently 17-feet below its normal level but help is on the way.

Debbie Ragan, with the City of Oklahoma City Utilities Department, said, “We’re in a drought, a serious drought.”

Early Wednesday the Army Corps of Engineers began releasing 30,000 acre feet of water from Canton Lake, down the North Canadian River.

It will take about two weeks but eventually the water will end up in Lake Hefner.

Ragan said, “We put this release off as long as possible.”

Though there are plenty of people around Canton Lake who are not happy about the release.

They say Canton Lake is also in need of water and taking from the lake will devastate that part of the state.

Oklahoma City city officials say Canton Lake was created to be a reserve for Oklahoma City water needs.

Ragan said, “It’s holding water for when levels are low. Those lakes are doing what they’re supposed to do, storing water for when we need it.”

It’s estimated about 20,000 acre feet of water will actually make it to Lake Hefner, increasing the lake level by about 10 feet.

It will still be well below where it should be but the added water will definitely help.

City officials said while this water will help, it does not end the drought.

They remind Oklahoma City residents that water rationing is currently in effect and they ask that all residents do what they can to reduce water usage.