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Guthrie city pool won’t open this summer due to Oklahoma drought

The City of Guthrie, OK - Municipal Government

Guthrie city officials announced its municipal pool at Highland Park will stay closed for the summer due to the effects of the ongoing drought and low lake levels. They are at least the second Oklahoma municipality to do so.

The city, which gets its water from Liberty and Guthrie Lakes, said it did not want to risk its water supply by opening the pool, because it requires 238,000 gallons of water to fill the pool and another 40,000 gallons daily to maintain water levels.

The city said it will keep both its splash pads open Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. It acknowledged that its splash pads at Mineral Wells Park and at Banner Park use 50,000 gallons of water and 40,000 gallons of water daily, respectively, but require less maintenance and water loss compared to the swimming pool.

“The splash pads do in fact require a similar daily water usage as the pool, however, they can be easily turned off or hours reduced if necessary,” city officials said in a statement posted on social media. “The pool daily water consumption is due to a culmination of reasons. There is a significant amount of water loss just from the traffic of getting into and out of the pool, add that to an 80-year-old structure that leaks and consider the evaporation rate.”

City officials also noted they are exploring partnerships with nearby community pools as an alternative way to keep cool this summer.

The city said it will potentially provide free transportation from Highland Park to Mitch Park in Edmond. Officials said they hope to solidify the plans soon and will “release a schedule and information.”

Brad Rippey, U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Drought Monitor

The city said it will consider opening the splash pads on additional days if the lakes’ water level rises. Despite recent rainfall across Oklahoma, Logan County remains in moderate drought conditions, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor.

Guthrie closed boat ramps at Guthrie Lake and Liberty Lake earlier this month due to dangerously low water levels.

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Xcaret Nuñez covered agriculture and rural communities for KOSU as a corps member with Report for America from June 2022 to September 2023.
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