City Institutes Moderate (Mandatory) Conservation
The City of Norman is instituting “ Stage 2 Moderate (Mandatory) Conservation” beginning January 14, 2013. This action is being taken because of a water shortage due to a reduction in the long term source of supply from Lake Thunderbird resulting from existing and continuing drought conditions. According to the Drought Impact Center, almost 95% of Oklahoma is in Category D3 (Extreme) or Category D4 (Exceptional drought conditions. Norman is currently categorized as having Extreme Drought conditions. The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center expects the current drought to continue or worsen through at least the Spring of 2013.
Currently, the water level in Lake Thunderbird is 7 ½ feet below the normal pool elevation and is on track next month to meet and exceed the historical record low level set in 2006. Approximately 2/3 of Norman’s water supply originates from Lake Thunderbird. The Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District (COMCD) manages the lake as a long term water supply source for the cities of Norman, Midwest City and Del City, and because of the ongoing drought conditions, has imposed a mandatory 10% reduction in the water Norman can receive from Lake Thunderbird. This reduction has necessitated implementation of this action.
Steve Lewis, City Manager, noted “The goal of ‘Moderate Mandatory Conservation’ is to accomplish a significant reduction in the water demand to more closely match the supply capabilities of the City. During the last two summers, the City instituted the mandatory odd/even water rotation program in the month of August. However, due to Lake Thunderbird’s declining supply, the City believes it is appropriate to institute this action now. It appears our present situation is resembling the drought of the 1950’s.”
Lewis also noted that “only 3 percent of the tap water used on a typical day is used for drinking, while the rest goes for outdoor watering, bathroom uses, clothes washing, etc. We encourage our customers to adopt water-wise practices to conserve water.”
Director of Utilities, Ken Komiske stated “that the drought is expected to continue for quite some time and we, as a City, need to put into effect water conservation measures now. The City’s website provides the following water conservation tips.”
In Stage 2 of the City of Norman adopted Water Conservation Plan, the following rules and regulations apply:
For Residential Customers:
- All outdoor watering or irrigation is prohibited between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
- Odd/Even water restrictions (house addresses that end with an even number water on even numbered calendar days; house addresses that end with an odd number water on odd number calendar days) for irrigation purposes are required for all customers with NO watering on Wednesday and Thursday of each week. The 31st day of the month is not included in the odd/even water rotation, but conservation is urged.
- Hand watering gardens/plants/shrubs with a hose is allowed at any time.
- Excess water run-off from any landscaped area onto streets is prohibited whether by design, maladjustment to sprinkler system, or usage during high winds.
- Washing of cars, trucks, trailers or other vehicles is prohibited unless these items are taken to a commercial carwash.
- Washing or hosing down of buildings, sidewalks, driveways, patios, porches, parking areas or any paved surface is prohibited.
For Commercial Customers:
- All residential watering and irrigation restrictions noted above apply.
- Developers and commercial enterprises are asked to wait until the current drought or water emergency has passed before establishing new landscaping.
For the City of Norman:
- The City will follow the same watering conservation rules as the public.
- City splash pad operation hours will be reduced by 2 hours each day when in service.
- Eliminate non-essential City water use (e.g.
street cleaning, vehicle washing, flushing of water mains, fire hydrant testing, etc).
- The conservation measures apply to City of Norman water customers. Those residents with private wells are not subject to City of Norman’s conservation rules.
- The Mandatory Conservation Stage will be lifted by notice from the City Manager’s office. Notification will be in the newspaper and on the City web site.
- Violating or ignoring the Mandatory Conservation rules may result in enforcement action as set in the City of Norman Code of Ordinances 21-501. Violations are considered a misdemeanor and punishable with fines not less than $50 or more than $750 per violation.
- For more information about the Water Conservation Plan and to read the conservation plan in full, go to the City website.