Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin toured the Southwest Oklahoma area Monday, June 30, beginning with a visit at the Mountain Park Master Conservancy District to see the low water levels at the Tom Steed Reservoir, one of the main water supplies for the City of Altus, Altus Air Force Base, Frederick,and Snyder. Governor Fallin then traveled to the Jackson County Farm Bureau to meet with Altus Community leaders who presented the Southwest Oklahoma Regional Water Action Plan. One of the objectives on the action plan is to develop ground water wells on the Mt. Park Master Conservancy District site.
“As the District and the Board, all of us, we’re just so thankful that you are here today,” Will Archer, MPMCD Manager, said to Governor Fallin upon arrival. “Were really struggling to get by but we really appreciate you coming down here and taking the time to visit out lake and see what were going through first hand.”
Governor Fallin stated that she appreciated all the work that has been done to conserve water as well looking at all the ideas for water development, feasibility studies, and researching all the areas that are impacted by drought.
“We thought it was very important to come here to day to look at Tom Steed Lake, to look at how far down the water was,” Governor Fallin said, who added that she has been getting reports and maps and keeping track of the water levels. “…But also to talk to the City Officials about how it affects residents but also the cotton fields, the agriculture fields, and certainly Altus Air Force Base, we are very concerned about. But one thing that I have been impressed with is how the local community and the Water Planning Commission has been working so hard to develop a plan of actual steps that they can take to conserve water, which they have done and also look at re-purposing and reusing water while were waiting to get through some of this drought, waiting for more rain to come in Oklahoma.”
Fallin also talked about a Statewide Conservation and Repurposing Plan, stating that the has asked her Secretary of Environment and Energy to do is work throughout entire State, especially in areas of drought, to develop a conservation plan for Oklahoma.
“Our biggest problem is we just need rain in our state, but we also need to be good stewards of our water, our land, and our air, and to take good care of the water that we have,” Fallin said. “And to look at areas where we can repurpose the water, reuse the water and also certainly conserve the water until we are fortunate enough to get more rain to replenish what we’ve lost in this drought.”