LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – Lawton leaders are on a scavenger hunt looking for water. Most of the city's water supply comes from the reservoir, but just in case the city hits another dry spell or drought, they need a backup plan.
The hunt for water is the reason some people are noticing drilling and digging on city owned property. Water and Waste Water Director Afsaneh Jabbar said engineers are taking samples of underground water to determine what wells are productive.
“Our plan is to have a backup plan of our water supply. Our water supply right now is only reservoir, surface water. Which means if we have another dry spell like we did from 2010 to 2015, then our water supply diminished only 40% which was basically based on our reliance on surface water. By adding ground water to our portfolio, our reliability will increase, so that's what we have been working on. If we go on and start spending a lot of money drilling wells, without knowing formation then we will waste a lot of money”, said Jabbar.
There are 8 test holes located around Lawton. Of those test holes, most of them are dry, but the city may convert 1 test hole to a water well once they get enough information from it.
"We are taking small steps towards that goal which means that every step of the way we just spend small amount of funds and as we gather more information, then we know where we can spend majority of our funding. A lot of formations have been studied by water resources or The United States Geological Survey”, said Jabbar.
If any water turns up, engineers will test it and treat it. Lower quality water is more expensive to treat.
"If citizen will bear with us for a couple of more months, for us to have better idea of what the subsurface formation is and what it's capability and capacity is then we can provide better reports”, said Jabbar.
Once all the studies have been completed, the water testing project will cost 1 and half million dollars.