Press Release

Lawton Water Authority receives $11,000,000 grant for dam improvements

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July 18, 2023

Press Release

OKLAHOMA CITY –The Lawton Water Authority (Authority) received approval for $11,000,000 in grants Tuesday from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) to improve the Authority’s infrastructure.  Construction of upgrades and improvements to the dam will be financed by the Oklahoma American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Designated grant program in the amount of $10,000,000, the Oklahoma American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Dam Rehabilitation grant program in the amount of $1,000,000, $925,251 provided by a Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dam (HHPD) grant, and $14,275,345 in local matching funds.

The Authority owns and operates Lake Ellsworth Dam.The lake provides water to the City of Lawton and is the only significant source of potable water available in the region. Medicine Park, Geronimo, and several water districs and associations purchase water from the City, as well. Fort Still Army Post purchases 99% of its water from the same source which results in Fort Sill purchaing 15% of all treated water produced by the City of Lawton. These proceeds will be used for the addition of more robust rock anchors, the addition of drains under the dam's apron, and to cast a new reinforced concrete slab over the existing apron. Other projects include repair of the existing concrete on the spillway and ogee, retrofit of the spillway retaining walls, an addition of chute blocks on the spillway stilling basin, riprap along the east side of the spillway, and changes to the grade at the southeast corner of the spillway.

Joe Freeman, chief of the OWRB’s Financial Assistance Division, calculated that the Authority’s customers will save an estimated $16,831,700 compared to traditional financing.