OKLAHOMA CITY –The Lugert-Altus Irrigation District (District) received approval for $25,000,000 in funding Tuesday from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) to improve the District’s water infrastructure. Construction of upgrades and improvements to the water system will be financed by the Oklahoma American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant program.
The District operates and maintains what is known as the W. C. Austin Project comprised of four primary canals known as the Main, Altus, Ozark, and West which feed multiple laterals delivering water through system turnouts. There are 52 miles of canals, 221 miles of laterals, and 26 miles of drains.
The Lugert-Altus Reservoir has experienced a decline due to drought conditions over the last several years. This has affected the District’s ability to provide water to its members due to evaporation, seepage, percolation, and runoff. These proceeds will be used to modernize the canal system beginning with the Ozark Canal since this section has no turnouts and experiences a high loss from seepage due to the permeable soils.