MOORE — A recently released report will aid the state in planning for Oklahoma’s future water supply.
City wells, which tap into the Garber-Wellington aquifer, are an important component of Moore and Norman’s water portfolios. Moore has about 30 active water wells. One or two wells were destroyed in the tornado and may not be replaced.
If the aquifer is diminished more quickly than it can recharge, that could negatively affect the city’s ability to supply future water demand. But how much well water withdrawal is too much?
In conjunction with the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, the U.S. Geological Survey recently completed a study of the Garber-Wellington to answer that question and to provide data critical to future policy making. For Moore, the report is informative, but not critical.
“We’re slowly over time going away from wells,” said Moore City Manager Stephen Eddy.
When the arsenic standard came in several years ago, Moore and Norman shut down some wells.
“At the same time, we were beginning rapid growth,” Eddy said. “Right now we’re getting about half our water from Oklahoma City and I expect that trend to continue.”
Moore has worked toward being less dependent on the aquifer over time — the city does not have the land to build more wells.
“A few years ago we went through a very detailed study,” Eddy said.
At that time, test wells showed issues with water quality on the east side of Moore. Peak water usage during summer is also an issue.
Norman gets about one-third of its water from wells and has anxiously awaited the information from the aquifer study.
“This is part of the state water plan. Before you know what you can give away, you have to know what you have,” Norman Utilities Director Ken Komiske said. “The news is really pretty good.”