Snow helps, but isn't enough to end Bartlesville drought

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - The city of Bartlesville is still urging citizens to voluntarily conserve water, even after a few inches of snow Monday night.

Dink's Barbeque, like many other of the city's restaurants, depends on hundreds of gallons of water to keep the restaurant running.

"We use a lot of water, washing dishes and cleaning things. So we're on guard to use as little water as we can and still get the job done," said owner Jim Curd.

Months into a severe drought, Curd says residents no longer take water for granted.
 
"We could get to the point where we might have to limit water. We hope not. It's in our pop machines, our drinking water. It's everywhere," said Curd.

City officials say lake levels are up a few inches. The snow added three to four inches to the supply at Bartlesville's water treatment plant.

But it'll take a few days to see the impact of the snow and rain on the water supply. And officials say that supply is still well below normal.

"This is historically the driest time of the year for us. So we're trying to be proactive in how we're managing our water and just to conserve what we have," said Terry Lauritsen, director of water utilities and engineering.

Lauritsen says once the snow melts in Kansas, a watershed for Bartlesville, more water could trickle down to the city's lakes.

"So it's a significant increase. It's not where we'd like to be and it hasn't gotten us out of the drought or where the normal lake levels are. But it's a step in the right direction for us," said Lauritsen.

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