Water Plan Newsletter April 2023

Newsletter Header

Action Items

Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan Public Outreach Survey is live! The survey is estimated to take between 5-10 minutes to complete and input received will help focus OCWP tasks.

Utility Providers: The Water Supply Infrastructure Needs Survey (WSINS) is still available. If you haven’t yet, please complete this survey as it provides critical technical information necessary to update the long term water plan.

Upcoming Evetns

April 19-21: Oklahoma Rural Water Association Annual Technical Conference in Tulsa

April 24-25: The National Ground Water Association and the Ground Water Protection Council are hosting a conference titled "Managed Aquifer Recharge: Unleashing Resiliency, Protecting Groundwater Quality" in San Antonio, TX.

Drought Resources

As Oklahoma suffers from continued drought, access OWRB's Drought Monitoring Site to review data on our current situation.

Review drought data on the national scale through the National Integrated Drought Information System.

2023 Highlights

There are a flurry of activities this time of year that recognize the importance of water. World Water Day seeks to accelerate “change to solve the water and sanitation crisis.” Water Week in Washington DC “provides professionals with the opportunity to directly learn more from key federal officials about the implementation of the historical policy achievements secured by the water sector… [and] provides the opportunity to build on this momentum and come together on Capitol Hill to advocate to Members of Congress the importance of ensuring all communities continue to have access to safe, reliable, and affordable drinking water and clean water”. Earth Day asks for us to “act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably).” Join us in celebrating water through these or other activities.

The last quarter has been busy for the OCWP team. We are continuing to gather input from public water providers and have just launched a survey to gather public input on water challenges. Small workgroups are continuing to meet on irrigation, water reuse, and source water protection with their input directly contributing to technical and policy work.

Looking forward, we anticipate hosting a series of regional meetings. More information coming soon.

Water Reuse

OWRB is facilitating the development of the Oklahoma Water Reuse Action Plan (OWRAP) through a diverse workgroup of state and federal agencies and local water utility representatives. Water reuse and the OWRAP is a key strategy toward meeting the goals set forth in Oklahoma’s Water for 2060 Act.

The overarching goal of the OWRAP is to identify and remove roadblocks to water reuse, such that reuse of any type is a viable option for water users across the state (municipal, industrial, agricultural, and others). There is no intent to mandate water reuse in Oklahoma, but it should be a viable path for those that want to consider and/or implement reuse. 

The workgroup identified barriers, drivers, and goals for reuse and is now developing a list of prioritized OWRAP Actions in each of five categories: 

  • Technical/Training
  • Social
  • Economic
  • Organizational
  • Regulatory

Initial outputs from the OWRAP will be published in mid- to late 2023. Envisioned as an ongoing, “living” process – not a one-time study – the OWRAP builds on a solid foundation of regulatory controls and growing interest in reuse.  Ongoing evolution of the OWRAP will occur as the initially-identified Actions are completed and new Actions are identified.  As such, the OWRAP will continue to identify and support ways of making reuse a viable and attractive option for water users of all types across the state.

Funding Resources

USBOR announced a WaterSMART funding opportunity announcement to support Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Projects.  This new funding category supports eligible entities as they study, design, and construct aquatic ecosystem restoration projects that are collaboratively developed, have widespread regional benefits, and result in the improvement of the health of fisheries, wildlife, and aquatic habitat. The specific activities eligible for funding are described in more detail in the funding opportunity link below. Applications are due June 1, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. CDT.

This funding opportunity announcement is available at www.grants.gov by searching for funding opportunity number R23AS00106 or by clicking here.  Learn more about Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Program projects at www.usbr.gov/watersmart/aquatic