Drought Management

Water Conservation

From 1996 to 2011, Mustang has had 4 droughts. Mustang has high vulnerability to and high probability of drought hazards. 

Drought is a recurring part of Oklahoma's climate cycle, as it is in all the Plains states. Almost all of Oklahoma's usable surface water comes from precipitation that falls within the state's borders. Therefore, drought in Oklahoma is tied almost entirely to local rainfall patterns (i.e., the influence of upstream events on drought is very small). Western Oklahoma is slightly more susceptible to drought because precipitation there tends to be more variable (percentage-wise) and marginal for dryland farm applications.

Drought episodes can last from a few months to several years. Those that last a few months can elevate wildfire danger and impact municipal water use. Seasonal droughts can occur at any time of the year, and those that coincide with crop production cycles can cause billions of dollars of damage to the farm economy. Multi-season and multi-year episodes can severely impact large reservoirs, streamflow and groundwater. 

Plants native to Oklahoma can thrive in both drought conditions and wet periods. Gardens with native planting require less maintenance, less pesticide and can handle the precipitation fluctuations. A list of native plants can be found at the bottom of this page. 

"In order to meet the needs of existing and future populations and ensure that habitats and ecosystems are protected, the nation’s water must be sustainable and renewable. Sound water resource management, which emphasizes careful, efficient use of water, is essential in order to achieve these objectives. Efficient water use can have major environmental, public health, and economic benefits by helping to improve water quality, maintain aquatic ecosystems, and protect drinking water resources. As we face increasing risks to ecosystems and their biological integrity, the inextricable link between water quality and water quantity becomes more important. Water efficiency is one way of addressing water quality and quantity goals. The efficient use of water can also prevent pollution by reducing wastewater flows, recycling industrial process water, reclaiming wastewater, and using less energy." EPA Office of Water, Statement of Principles on Efficient Water Use.

Watering Schedule 

Mustang and surrounding communities have implemented Progressive Water Conservation Stages. Mandatory odd/even watering (Stage 1) is now permanently in effect. If the drought worsens, additional conservation measures will take effect. 

  • If your address ends in an even number, you can water on even-numbered calendar days.

  • If your address ends in an odd number, you can water on odd-numbered calendar days.

For example:

  • If your address is 1400, you can water on the 2nd, 4th, 6th of the month and so on.

  • If your address is 1401, you can water on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.


Saving Water at Home

The Oklahoma Department Of Environmental Quality has provided the following tips for saving water indoors. The most substantial reduction in personal water use can be made in the bathroom. Two-thirds of the water used in the average home is used in the bathroom because many people take long showers orflush the toilet unnecessarily. Water conservation not only saves water, it saves energy used to heat the water.

Bathroom Tips

  • Check the toilet for leaks. Put a few drops of food coloring inyour toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color appears in thebowl, you have a leak that needs to be repaired.

  • Don’t use the toilet for disposing of cigarette butts or other trash. Use the garbage can.

  • Toilets manufactured before January 1994 use 3.5 to 7 gallons of water per flush. Most toilets manufactured after that date use 1.6 to 7 gallons of water per flush.

  • To cut down on water used by older model toilets, put plastic bottles filled withsand in your toilet tank, away from the operating mechanism. Don’t use this method for toilets that use 1.6 gallons or less as the toilet may not function properly. We also don’t recommend using bricks, which disintegrate after a while and damage the mechanism.

  • When replacing fixtures, install water conserving models. The price is about thesame and it will save you money on your water bill.

  • Install water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors. Hardware and plumbing supply stores stock inexpensive water-saving shower heads or restrictors thatare easy to install.

  • Limit the length of showers to 2 or 3 minutes. Consider turning the shower off while you soap up and turn it on again to rinse.

  • Rinse your razor in a few inches of water in the sink, rather than under running water.

  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Use only enough water to wet the brush and rinse your mouth.

  • Teach children to turn faucets off tightly after use.

Kitchen and Laundry Tips

  • Use your automatic dishwasher and automatic washing machine only for full loads.

  • If you wash dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running continuously for rinsing. Fill one side of the sink with clean water for rinsing, or put the washed dishes in a rack and rinse them all at once with a spray attachment or a pan of hot water.

  • Don’t let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Fill the sink or a pan with clean water to rinse. Re-use the water that vegetables are washed in for watering houseplants or for cleaning.

  • Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. Running the tap to cool the water for drinking is wasteful and the refrigerator water will be colder and more refreshing.

  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks. Even a small leak can waste thousands of gallons in a month.

  • Reduce use of the garbage disposal, which requires a great deal of water for operation. Dispose of food scraps and peelings in the trash container or use food waste in a garden compost pile.

  • Install flow restrictors in faucets.

  • Keep faucet washers in good shape or use washer less faucets.

 Outdoor Tips

  • Check for leaks in outdoor faucets, pipes and hoses. Slight drips can add up to many gallons of wasted water.

  • Water your lawn only when it needs it. A good way to see if your lawn needs watering is to step on the grass. If it springs back, it doesn’t need water. If it stays flat, it needs water.

  • Avoid watering on windy days. Wind will carry water away from its intended area.

  • Water during the coolest part of the day, generally early morning, to avoid excess evaporation and to help prevent the growth of fungus.

  • Water your lawn once every 5 to 7 days, wetting the soil to a depth of 6 to 10 inches. This takes 1/2 to 1 inch of water and encourages deep roots that are more drought-tolerant and better able to utilize available soil moisture. Frequent, shallow watering results in shallow roots, making your lawn a prime target for insects, diseases, and temperature extremes.

  • Don’t water the street. Position your sprinklers so water lands on the lawn or garden, not on paved areas.

  • Plant drought-resistant trees, plants and lawn grass. Many beautiful trees and plants thrive with far less watering than other species.

  • Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Mulch will slow the evaporation of moisture and discourage weed growth.

  • Do not permit children to play with the water hose or sprinkler.

  • Do not use a constant stream of water when washing the car. Wash from a bucket of soapy water, using the hose only to rinse. Wash less frequently during dry, hot weather.

  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks.