Lake Tom Steed rises 2 feet, reaches 34 percent capacity

Jason Angus Reporter

October 8, 2013

Mountain Park Master Conservancy District (MPMCD) officials report Lake Tom Steed is currently 34 percent of capacity on Monday, Oct. 7, but urge water conservation efforts must continue.

“Please continue to conserve water as the reservoir is 12.62 feet below normal,” Mountain Park Master Conservancy District Manager Will Archer stated. “Conservation measures have saved about 40 percent of what we actually use. If everyone had used their full allocation, we’d be close to not having any water in the lake.”

Tom Steed reservoir, currently at 1,398.38 feet above sea level, has risen almost 2 feet since being reported at its lowest level on Sept. 13. The MPMCD considers 1,411.0 feet above sea level to be “full capacity.”

Archer explained that the rise in two feet is a result of in flowing water from Elk Creek, Glen Creek and Otter Creek. After having received enough rain north of Tom Steed, allowing Elk Creek to back up to a height of 10 feet, they have been successful in diverting Elk Creek water to Lake Tom Steed.

The total inflow of water for October is 4,819 acre feet, and 2,734 acre feet for September. The total rainfall for October is 1.40 inches so far, and 6.42 inches for September.

Per the City of Altus water conservation Ordinance, Stage 1- Drought Watch water restriction plan can be implemented when Tom Steed is below 75 percent (elevation is 1,406.9, storage is 73,037 ac-ft), Stage 2 - Drought Warning when below 60 percent (elevation is 1,404.2, storage is 58,467 ac-ft.), and Stage 3 - Restriction of Outside Water Use below 40 percent (elevation 1,399.9, storage 38,938 ac-ft.). If Steed reaches below 20 percent (elevation 1,394.30, 19,888. ac-ft), the City of Altus can vote to implement Stage 4 - Drought Emergency water restriction.