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Enid receives federal money to brace water supply against drought, future growth

An outdoor water spigot against an out-of-focus green background (looks like trees).
Luis Tosta

The City of Enid has received $8 million in federal funds for water infrastructure projects.

Enid currently relies solely on groundwater, but it takes more than 100 wells to support its 50,000 residents. In response to current demand and anticipated population growth, the city is working to shore up existing water infrastructure and secure an alternative water source.

To supplement groundwater supplies, Enid is building the infrastructure they need to draw water from Kaw Lake. That endeavor requires an intake tunnel, a new treatment plant and over 70 miles of pipe to carry water from the lake to the city.

The entire project will cost $475 million, according to Garver, the engineering firm Enid has partnered with. In 2018, Enid received a $53 million federal loan from the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act. Last week, the city announced that it had received $4 million in federal funds to support the project. City sales tax and water utility payments will cover costs not offset by loans or grants.

The city is also updating an existing pipeline that carries water from a well site in Ames, which is about 20 miles southwest of Enid. According to a social media post from the City of Enid, “the Ames pipeline is 70 years old, at the end of its design life, and requires immediate attention.”

That project also received $4 million in federal funds. According to the city’s application for American Rescue Plan Act money, the Ames pipeline update will cost around $20 million.

Both of these projects are in support of Enid’s goal to secure their water supply through 2050.

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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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