DURANT, OK -- The Lake Texoma Association hosted a public meeting in Durant Friday night to present facts regarding the lake's economy, water usage and laws affecting usage. The organization also told residents about steps they are taking in hopes of reducing negative impacts.
Rick Lemon is one of about 200 concerned citizens who attended Friday night's meeting. As a sales manager at Cedar Mills Marina he has been directly impacted by Lake Texoma's low lake levels and is worried about the future.
"It concerns me that we are potentially in a long-term drought that the lake could continue to drop and that people come to the lake less because they think there's less water, less access," Lemon said.
Norman resident Cliff Thrift has owned property at the lake since 1989 and is also facing uncertainty.
"I really think that if they continue on the path they're on right now property values are going to plummet, you know it's going to be a fire sale and people are going to be leaving in droves," Cliff Thrift said.
Lake Texoma is more than six feet below than what it should be during this time of year and is in a stage two drought level.
"At each level of the drought certain things kick in," Lake Texoma Association Rick Lane said.
The Lake Texoma Association says power companies can draw water from the lake at its current level, which is why they have started a petition to put more power behind federal lake laws to limit how much water can be drawn from the lake at certain drought levels.
"We really need those levels raised higher so that we can start taking conservation efforts before the lake gets this low," Lane said.
"The laws that were put in place that govern how and when they generate were put in place 50 - 60 years ago and the economic impact just wasn't there then," Lemon said.
The petition needs at least 100,000 signatures for President Obama to look at it, but the Lake Texoma Association is asking for 250,000, currently they have nearly 3,000 signatures.
To sign the petition visit the link below.
At Friday night's meeting the Lake Texoma Association also pointed out that the lake is still open for business.