City Council members are looking at a proposal prompted by Mother Nature as they consider a recommendation that would require all three city lakes to be calculated into outdoor water restriction policies and one that would offer fewer hours when city customers could use that water.
The discussion will occur at 6 p.m. today when the council meets in regular session in the auditorium of the new city hall at Southwest 9th and Southwest C.
Lawton already would be under Stage 2 mandatory outdoor water usage guidelines if the council imposes the recommendation made by one of its study committees. The proposal has been in the works since April, when the council designated four of its members to a study group to discuss a concern posed by city staff: The city's policy guiding outdoor water use now is based solely on the elevation of Lake Lawtonka.
While Lawtonka is considered by many to be the city's primary lake, due to the fact it directly feeds the 40-million-gallon-a-day capacity Medicine Park Water Treatment Plant, that lake actually provides the fewest number of dependable gallons of raw water. Public Works Director Jerry Ihler said Lawtonka accounts for 18.84 percent of Lawton's usable water, while Lake Ellsworth accounts for 33.92 percent and Waurika Lake 47.24 percent. Meanwhile, Lawton's restrictions on outdoor water usage (imposed during times of drought or emergencies) is based solely on Lawtonka's elevation, which is why the city has been under Stage 1 (voluntary) water restrictions for much of the year.