On Oct. 11, the city announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was releasing 30,000 acre-feet of water from Canton Lake into the North Canadian River to increase the city’s drinking water supply captured by Lakes Hefner and Overholser.
While the city is trying to keep up on drinking water, it is also trying to get additional water supplies from southeastern Oklahoma — a move being fought by interests and politicians in that part of the state.
So who are the city’s biggest water users?
Oklahoma Gazette requested the top 10 water usage accounts for both commercial and residential properties.
At first blush, the top user of water in the city from September 2010 to August 2011 may seem surprising: the Federal Aviation Administration’s Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, located at 6500 S. MacArthur Blvd.
According to city records, the location — listed as the top commercial property user of water — used 191 mil lion gallons of water during the year, but was billed for 82 million.
right, Federal Aviation Administration’s Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center
The next closest was Earlywine Park Golf Course, 11600 S. Portland Ave., which used 143,705,000 gallons.
Roland Herwig, the FAA MMAC’s spokesman, disputed the amount of water used, and said the center’s records show that closer to 76 million gallons were used between October 2010 and September 2011, which is the federal fiscal year and could account for a small difference between the 82 million gallons billed by the city and the 76 million gallons recorded by the FAA.
The remainder of the amount is water that is not billed to the FAA, but that flows through the location going toward the Federal Bureau of Prison’s Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City and the Air National Guard.
The FAA is under federal mandate to reduce water consumption yearly, and the amount of water used is tracked weekly, Herwig said.
“We have (and brag about) environmental mandates to reduce consumption by 2 percent per year since 2007. And we’re certified to a very high manage-ment standard for monitoring and managing all this,” Herwig said. “We take environmental stewardship very seriously.”
Debbie Ragan, public information officer for the city’s utilities department, said the FAA was only billed for 82 million gallons used during that period, but the total amount used by the entire FAA complex was 191 million.
Also appearing on the list are two natural gas cogeneration stations (PowerSmith Cogeneration and Veolia Energy), two golf courses (Earlywine and Lincoln Park), two hospitals (Mercy Health Center and Integris Baptist Medical Center), the Great Plains Coca- Cola Bottling Co. and Lopez Foods Inc.
Steve Carson is head golf professional and manager of the Lincoln Park course. Carson, who is also familiar with the operations of Earlywine, said both courses are larger than most others in the city — 36 holes each.
Although the golf course is large and requires lots of water to keep it green, Carson said both courses try to conserve water as much as possible using advanced irrigation techniques and taking care not to overwater the fairways and greens.
“It’s kind of a fine line we walk with them,” Carson said.
Although the drought (see related story Page 21) took its toll on the courses, both properties adhered to the city’s water rationing schedule when it was implemented during the summer, Carson said.
In terms of residential water usage, the top user was a residence owned by Stephen and Tina Dobson at 14200 Gaillardia Lane.
gated Gaillardia neighborhood, an upscale housing addition located in
northwest Oklahoma City, takes four of the top 10 spots of residential
water usage for the period.
Stephen T. and Tina J. Dobson, 14200 Gaillardia Lane — 3,154,000 gallons
James E. Williams, 14500 Gaillardia Lane — 2,660,000 gallons
The Hill at Bricktown, 205 N. Geary Ave. — 2,633,000 gallons
Naresh Patel, 4920 Gaillardia Circle — 2,601,000 gallons
Randall A. and Rebecca K. Carter, 14300 Thornhill Drive — 2,257,000 gallons
NW Passage Estates, 10002 W. Hefner Road — 2,252,000 gallons
David and Brenda Stanley, 5001 Gaillardia Circle — 2,114,000 gallons
Clyde Riggs Construction 2420 N.E. 131st Place — 2,094,000 gallons
FAA MMAC, 6500 S. MacArthur Blvd. — 191,000,000 gallons
Earlywine Park Golf Course, 11600 S. Portland Ave. — 143,705,000 gallons
PowerSmith Cogeneration, 2308 S. Council Road — 118,970,000 gallons
Lopez Foods, 9500 N.W. Fourth St. — 105,822,000 gallons
Veolia Energy, 1 N. E.K. Gaylord Blvd. — 92,885,000 gallons
Oklahoma County Detention Center, 201 N. Shartel — 79,890,000 gallons
Integris Baptist Medical Center, 3300 Northwest Expressway — 77,132,000 gallons
Lincoln Park Golf Course, 4001 N.E. Grand Blvd. — 73,758,000 gallonsSource: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County records
Photo by Mark Hancock