Thursday, December 15, 2022

Water Watching: The latest on Marion's situation

Old City Lake was overflowing early
this week after recent rainfall.
Marion’s cup runneth over, thanks to recent rainfall that has watered down what had begun as one of the driest falls on record. Indeed, it was the driest in more than 10 years.

Recent precipitation has pushed the level of Old City Lake over its levee, giving Marion more than enough water in its cache to find weeks of comfort. While the town’s situation remains tenuous, and a Level 3 Conservation Order remains in place, there’s a sense of relief now that the rainy season has arrived. 

Since April, the city has held its collective breath, praying for regular rainfall to keep its only remaining raw water reservoir full. Other than a few weeks over the summer of water hauling by area farmers and the National Guard, Marion has been able to meet basic water demands by its customers, albeit, with great thanks to the Crittenden-Livingston Water District. The county’s water system is currently providing 100 gallons per minute, or 144,000 gallons per day, to Marion to supplement the meager amount it’s able to make on its own at the water plant.

The city water plant is only running two or three days a week and making about 400,000 gallons during a seven-day period. 

Meantime, local officials continue to work behind the scenes on an intermediate and long-term plan to permanently solve the water crisis. See this week's full edition of The Crittenden Press for more on weather trends and some insight into issues that could become driving forces on the path to solving Marion's water crisis.