Ada Water Resources Board discussed recent data regarding Ada’s water usage this morning at its regular meeting.

Chair Kelly Hurt presented a few graphs illustrating Ada’s water troubles.

He said Ada was using more stream water and ground water than is permitted by uncontested rights.

“Of the water rights we have that are not contested for Byrds Mill Spring, we are going over every year,” Hurt said.  “We don’t expect those spring water rights to change.”

He said the city has been dealing with this extra use through 90-day temporary permits.  Hurt said the city is also going above its groundwater rights during dry years.

“Contested surface water doesn’t mean we’re not going to get it,” Dick Scalf, board member, said.  “It just means it hasn’t been settled.”

Hurt said the water rights are being contested by protesters down-stream.

The board also discussed taking extra water from Byrds Mill Spring during peak flows and putting it into the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer through injection wells for possible credits toward pumping later or benefits through water recharge. 

Board members are still uncertain about the viability of recharging the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer.

 Hurt said the board may get answers about that viability.

“The Arbuckle-Simpson has been approved as one of the pilot study locations for the Aquifer Recharge Project,” he said.

City Attorney Alvin Files said there would also have to be a statutory change in order for the city to get credit for injecting water into the aquifer.

The board members discussed setting up a town hall meeting in June at Pontotoc Technology Center to present information, data and options to Ada residents. 

They discussed getting the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to speak at the meeting and present options to the city.  Possible topics at the meeting include Scissortail Lake, the Oklahoma City pipeline and property rights, although board members expressed concern about cramming too many issues onto the agenda.

Tentative plans for the meeting are to hold it on June 14 at 6 p.m.

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