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Water troubles plague Southwest Oklahoma communities

 A greenish creek with low water levels flows between brushy shrubs. Rocky hills are visible to the left and back of the image.
Oklahoma-Texas Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
The North Fork Red River near Quartz Mountain

Southwestern Oklahoma communities are facing water problems as they head into a week of high temperatures.

The Foss Reservoir Master Conservancy District supplies more than 17,000 people with treated water from Foss Reservoir. Its water plant shut down on Thursday for emergency repairs, according to the City of Hobart, which relies on Foss as its only water source. The city asked residents to conserve the water left in their towers and warned repairs could take days.

Just southwest of Foss, the Quartz Mountain Water Plant Board has declared a separate water emergency for its service area, which includes Lone Wolf, Granite, Quartz Mountain State Park and the Oklahoma State Reformatory.

Despite recent rain, those systems’ wells are supplying less than half the plant’s capacity due to a low water table in the North Fork Red River aquifer. The Towns of Granite and Lone Wolf are implementing odd/even outdoor watering days and asking residents to conserve as much as possible until further notice.

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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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