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Even after recent rain, drought dries up summer fun in Bartlesville — at least for now

A shallow pool with small slides, a mushroom-shaped waterfall fixture and other play equipment.
Visit Bartlesville
The Frontier Pool in Bartlesville

Bartlesville’s city pools won’t open this summer due to ongoing water shortages.

Even with a bump from last week’s rain, the lakes that supply Bartlesville are sitting at about 56% capacity. To address the shortage, the city says it doesn't have plans to open either of its public pools this summer. They usually open around Memorial Day weekend.

Bartlesville will continue watering the greens at its two municipal golf courses. The city says it’s prioritizing golf courses because they bring in tourism money and provide a fundraiser venue for local businesses. The city says it hopes to soon use recirculated pond water on the greens.

City officials insist they don’t want to burden specific businesses with water restrictions. That’s why car washes won’t close despite complaints from residents

If Bartlesville’s water supply gets out of the rough — that would be at 70% capacity — they’ll try to open the pools if they have enough staff.

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Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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