OCWP July Newsletter

OCWP newsletter
Action Items

The Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan Public Outreach Survey is open! Take this opportunity to share your priorities, concerns, and ideas about how the OCWP can best provide value to you. Share the link with a friend or colleague!

Utility Providers: the Water Supply Infrastructure Needs Survey (WSINS) seeks critical technical information necessary to understand local needs and develop potential water management solutions and provides support for seeking additional funding.

Upcoming Events

Ongoing ORWA Training Opportunities are available around the state for Board Members, Water Operators, and more.

The Oklahoma Floodplain Managers Association will host a Stormwater Technical Workshop on July 19 in Oklahoma City. More information and registration are available here.

The EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) funding program will host its next webinar on July 12 to give prospective borrowers a better understanding of WIFIA program requirements and how to submit a successful application.

Ongoing ORWA Training Opportunities are available around the state for Board Members, Water Operators, and more.

water quality resources

The OWRB now has more than 30 years of water quality and quantity data available online. Download the data or use analysis tools to look at trends, seasonality, ranges, relationships, and more!

OCWP july 2023 highlights

Save the date!The Oklahoma Water Resources Board is pleased to announce the first round of a series of stakeholder input meetings in locations across the state focused on the 2025 update of Oklahoma’s Comprehensive Water Plan (OCWP). Participants will have an opportunity to voice their ideas on current and future water-related challenges and solutions in their regions and statewide, review state policy and water reliability initiatives resulting from stakeholder recommendations of the 2012 OCWP update, and learn about the findings of the recent water supply and demand forecasts and infrastructure investment needs surveys. These meetings will build on input from several focused discussions held to initiate the scope of work for the 2025 OCWP. The first round of meetings will generally follow the same agenda in each of five locations around the state.

Round 1 meetings for local officials, water utility suppliers, regulated industry, commercial agricultural producers, economic development entities, and representing organizations will be held from 2:00-4:00 pm. General Public meetings will follow from 5:30-7:00 pm.

▪  August 15Southwest Technology Center 711 W. Tamarack Rd., Altus, OK 73521

▪  August 16 Chickasaw Nation Community Center 700 N. Mississippi Ave., Ada, OK 74820

▪  August 17 Rogers State University 1701 W. Will Rogers Blvd., Claremore, OK 74017

▪  August 29 High Plains Technology Center 3921 34th St., Woodward, OK 73801

▪  August 30 OSU-Oklahoma City 9900 N. Portland Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73107

Two virtual meetings will be held:

▪  August 18 Virtual meeting, 9:00 – 11:00 am

▪  August 31 Virtual meeting, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Links to virtual meetings will be posted on the OWRB’s website. Future meetings are anticipated to be held approximately once per quarter through late 2024, with agendas reflecting OCWP activities and findings.

Outdoor Water Use

Summer is in full swing. People are cooling off in Oklahoma’s many lakes and rivers or may be enjoying barbeque in their backyards. Summer is a great time to brush up on simple steps you can take to have a water-smart landscape that’s beautiful, healthy, and easy to maintain. EPA’s water sense website offers many tips, such as help in designing landscapes, including what to plant, knowing how much and when to water, and suggestions for reducing your swimming pool’s water consumption.

On that note, July is Lakes Appreciation Month. The North American Lake Management Society has several ideas for celebrating, including family bingo and a social media contest. Check it out at https://www.nalms.org/lakes-appreciation-month/.

Funding Resources

July 1, 2023, marks the opening of the application period for OWRB REAP grants in state fiscal year 2024. The OWRB REAP Grant program provides funding for projects related to water and wastewater systems that meet the following criteria:

▪   7,000 or less in population

▪   $150,000 maximum per project per applicant

▪   No match requirement

All REAP Grant applications and any supporting documents MUST be completed and submitted using the electronic REAP application process by 5:00 p.m. on September 1:

▪   Click here for the electronic REAP Application.

▪   Click here for the REAP Grant Application Official Notice.

Closing Thoughts

If you are looking to add to your summer reading list, check out the free 2023 State of the Water Industry Report published by the American Water Works Association. The report covers hot topics such as aging infrastructure, financing capital improvements, long-term supply, public value of water resources, and workforce. In spite of extreme weather event challenges, aging infrastructure, threats to water supply, and other obstacles, the water community is feeling more and more optimistic each year about the sector’s ability to overcome major issues and support and improve water systems and service. The OCWP is taking steps to address several of the issues highlighted in the report as being of high concern to water providers across Oklahoma and the nation.

Additionally, you can enjoy Learning from Water Reuse in Israel. In October 2022, the US sent a delegation of water reuse experts (including the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality’s own Shellie Chard) to Israel to promote collaboration and knowledge-sharing about Israel’s water recycling programs. The visit was part of a larger collaboration between our two countries on environmental issues and an action item in the National Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP), which was developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with partners across the water sector. The US delegation was comprised of 42 water professionals, with representatives from water utilities, research institutions, regulatory agencies, and nongovernmental organizations.

Reach out any time to discuss your ideas, questions, and concerns! Best regards,

Owen Mills | Director of Water Planning Oklahoma Water Resources Board 405.530.8904 Office | 405.421.4127 Cell Owen.Mills@owrb.ok.gov