Water rationing efforts begin in Norman

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NORMAN, Okla. – Despite parts of the state that got a little bit of rain Saturday, many communities continue to worry about their current water supplies.

It’s common to have water rationing in the summer but a town is now implementing the practice during the winter months.

City officials in Norman say this is a first for them but it is necessary because Lake Thunderbird is almost eight feet below conservation levels.

Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said, “We’re in the middle of a historic drought period.”

Officials in Norman have all called for water rationing at the start of this year.

Mayor Rosenthal said, “Part of the message of doing this now is to really tell our citizens this is a very serious situation and begin to think about how they can address it themselves on a personal level.”

City leaders say residents need to change some of their daily habits in order to reduce their water use by at least ten percent.

Rosenthal said, “In terms of turning off faucets when they are brushing their teeth, shorter showers and making sure dishwashers and laundry go with full loads.”

Experts also suggest using efficient shower heads, properly running toilets and fixing leaking pipes.

“At some point in time, we have to pay attention to what Mother Nature gives us,” said Chris Lippincott. “If we lived in Kawai and we got eight gallons of rain a minute then that would be one thing, but we’re looking at some problems facing our future with water prices going up and you look at Lake Hefner and Lake Thunderbird, I mean, it’s low.”

Starting Monday, all outdoor watering and irrigation has to come to a halt between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

After that, homeowners will have to alternate watering on odd and even days based on their address.

Rosenthal said, “If the drought continues, we may have more severe conservation required.”