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The City of Oklahoma City

Corps to release water from Canton Lake

(November 19, 2010) - The Army Corps of Engineers will release 12,000 acre-feet of water from Canton Lake in northwest Oklahoma into the North Canadian River beginning Monday, November 22.  The released water is expected to reach Oklahoma City on Friday, Nov. 26, and will be captured into Hefner Lake. 

This small release will raise Hefner’s water level three feet and Overholser’s level about a foot and a half, levels usually gained under normal rainfall forecast.  Oklahoma City received less than average rainfall in the past few months, and the National Weather Service has predicted a dryer, warmer winter than usual. 

However, Marsha Slaughter, Oklahoma City Utilities Department director, assures citizens that the water supply lakes are not at risk.

“Planned releases, such as the one scheduled this month, are part of our Canton Lake lake-level management plan and our water use permit,” Slaughter said. “We use water from Canton only when we need it to replenish our water supply lakes or prepare for extended periods of low rainfall.”

The Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust has used water from Canton Lake since the 1950s. Water utility officials meet with members of the Canton Lake Advisory Committee to carefully plan all water releases so they are conducted in the best interest of both lakes.

For example, taking water this time of year is best for Canton Lake.  In the spring, walleye spawn, laying eggs on the rocky shoulders of the shore.  Stable lake levels in the spring protect the walleye eggs. Hefner Lake will store the additional acre-feet of water it receives from Canton.

“We’ll be prepared to meet our customers’ water needs – despite any unusually dry weather we may have this winter,” Slaughter said.

Contact:  Debbie Ragan
297-3363 or 301-3829

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