Hot Dry Summer Increases Use of Limited Water Supply in Osceola

OSCEOLA, Iowa-A dry and sometimes hot summer has led to some concern over the water supply in Osceola.

Brandon Patterson Osceola Water Superintendent noticed water usage was higher than expected in early summer.

“The thing that we're a little concerned about at this time is what we're seeing is trends that we saw back in 2012,” said Patterson. “That puts us right on track to pull out our conservation ordinance and review that.”

Patterson said depending on what kind of snow falls this winter, voluntary conservation could be possible next year, but not at this time.

Patterson is hoping for an additional water supply with the planned Clarke County Reservoir, which is planned northwest of town. Currently the project is negotiating with land owners, before the the effort can move forward.

“The lake that we're looking at would be 789 acres,” said Patterson “The current lake is 306 acres, the current lake allows for a safe withdrawal of 800,000 gallons a day in a dry yea,r and we're currently averaging 1.2 million.

Patterson said the limited water supply can also hamper economic development in the area.

“If we have industries that are looking here, if they use any significant amount of wate,r I have to say yes or no I agree that we could provide that,” said Patterson. “So if we want to if we really want to see any growth we need to have another water supply.”