Despite the ongoing drought and predicted dry summer for this coming year, El Dorado residents have not felt the restrictions other communities have with water.
“The lake has long been identified as an important regional water supply by the Kansas Water Office,” said Kurt Bookout, public utilities director.
In 2011, El Dorado recorded 11 inches under the average for total rainfall. Then in 2012, they were at 24 inches of rainfall, again 11 inches under the average.
El Dorado Lake is currently down about 4 1/2 feet.
It is fed by 252 square miles of water shed, mostly coming from tallgrass prairie land, which provides more filtration.
Still, there have been no water usage restrictions for El Dorado residents.
“We’re in really good shape, especially considering we’re two years into a drought,” Bookout said.
The city pulls the lake down about 18 inches a year from the total water they remove.
Bookout went on to explain there are three intake structures from which they can draw water from the lake. The top one is 12 feet below the surface at conservation pool. Bookout said they could draw the lake down another eight feet before they even see the top of the first intake structure. The next two are at 30 feet and 49 feet.
“It would take a long time to get there,” Bookout said. “Our long-term drought supply is very good. We’re better equipped to handle a drought better than anyone else in Kansas.”