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Bob Penick waters flowers and shrubs Thursday afternoon in his front yard on Fifth Street in Perkins.

PERKINS — Bob Penick has won many awards for having the prettiest yard in Perkins, but this year his usually green grass isn’t so green.

Penick blames it on the water rationing that has been effective in the city since August and that has decreased the amount of watering he is allowed.

“We’re trying our best to keep (the yard) alive, but we’ve already lost some shrubbery,” he said. “Everybody has.”

Even though the city has relaxed the rules on outside watering to allow hand watering on an odd-even day system, yards, like Penick’s, across Perkins are drying up quickly.

So while many residents are praying for rain, Perkins officials are trying to come up with both short-term and long-term plans for the city’s water problem.

One plan is a possible agreement for Perkins to purchase water from Stillwater, Perkins City Manager Peter Seikel said.

Attorneys for both sides are looking at the agreement, which would give Perkins supplemental relief in the near future, Seikel said.

Stillwater City Manager Dan Galloway said the population in Perkins has grown tremendously, putting pressure on the city’s water supply.

However, Galloway said Stillwater has an ample supply of water and is trying to figure out how much the cost would be for Perkins to purchase water so it will be ready to use by March.

“I hope we can work something out so water will be in place (in Perkins) for the early water demand,” he said.

Another long-term option Seikel is working on is adding a new raw water line, which would also need a new storage facility and water treatment plant.

So far, people have been cooperative with the rationing, Seikel said, adding the cooler weather and shorter days have helped.

However, he said there hasn’t been a significant improvement of the quantity of water in the wells, so sprinklers are still prohibited under the rationing, which has a $50 fine for any offense after an initial warning.

Residents are allowed to wash their cars and water with a garden hose but are reminded not to leave the hose running unsupervised.

Some companies, like Cimarron Trails Golf Course, depend on water to survive.

Luckily, the golf course has its own well and was able to supply its water, Superintendent Trevor Clinesmith said.

But in respect to the city and its residents, Clinesmith said the golf course cut back its watering to only three or four nights a week.

“When it was really hot, it made things tough,” he said. “Now with the cooler weather, it’s not a big deal.”

As for Penick, he tried anything he could to keep his lawn green, including having his son-in-law bring 10-gallon drums filled with water from his lagoon outside of town.

When it’s his turn to water, he usually waters the grass while his wife waters what flowers they have left.

“The lawn was in perfect shape before the ration,” Penick said. “Now it’s pretty much dead.”

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