Bartlesville council receives update on city water levels, drought conditions, water usage

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - Bartlesville and nearby communities dependent on Bartlesville's water supply have nearly 400 days of drinking water left, according to city officials.

During a regular city council meeting held Monday night, the retiring Mike Hall performing one of his last tasks as the city's water director gave an update on Bartlesville's water situation, a concern due to record drought conditions.

He said recent rains did little to resupply Hulah Lake, the lake as the city's chief water source now standing below half of its water supply.

"We have received no inflow into the lake," he said, saying the rain which mostly stayed south of Tulsa only rose lake levels by one-one-hundredth of an inch. "Not near enough."

He said as of Monday the lake's pool elevation was at 727.89 feet – less than half of pool's capacity and nearing the 2001 drought level of 724.63 feet. The full elevation is 733 feet.

So far, the city has pumped about 6-inches of water from Hulah to Hudson Lake, the city's municipal water supply lake, a process that costs the city $22,000 a month, Hall told councilors.

In light of the costs and impending water shortage, city officials have been urging residents to conserve water – a measure which some residents have heeded and have reduced water usage from the standard of 5.5 million gallons a day to 4.7 million gallons.

Hall said soon in an effort to pressure residents toward using even less water, the city will twice weekly place ads in the local newspaper updating readers of current and historical lake levels and offering as many as seven water saving tips, such as installing aerators to household faucets and using clean waste water for watering plants and animals.

The lake levels information is available on the city website as well.

"A little common sense will help out significantly," he said.

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