OK Water Plan May 2024 Newsletter

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OCWP Newsletter May
Action Items


We will begin rolling out findings from the OCWP in the coming months. Based on responses to the OCWP Public Outreach Survey, high level summaries, geospatial/mapping, and online dashboards seem to be the preferred method for presenting results.

Pi chart

Share your feedback with us! The Public Outreach Survey is estimated to take between 10 and 15 minutes to complete. Please share this link with a friend, a colleague, and your social media connections! Survey will close May 31.

Oklahoma Public Water Providers please complete the Local Projects and Programs Survey (or email Owen Mills your capital improvement plan) to help us better define the capital costs needed to address water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure challenges. Survey will close May 31.

KOSU Waterline is a project that looks into how water impacts peoples’ lives. Take their survey or listen to water focused news stories on kosu.org/waterline.



According to the new report from ASCE et al,
If the US fully funded water infrastructure:

- 800,000 new jobs would be created!

- $2,000 annual increase in household income!

(See Closing Thoughts)

May Highlights

Scissortail Park, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

May is full of water related recognitions. Drinking Water Week, American Wetlands Month, National Water Safety Month, and Flood Awareness Month are just a few. Take time this spring to recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives.

Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan Round 3 Regional Meetings

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board recently completed five in person and one virtual Round 3 regional meetings. A summary of these meetings will be published soon. To those who participated, both in person and online, we acknowledge the sacrifice of time and effort you gave to this process, and we are committed to repay those efforts by doing our utmost to provide quality data to share in future rounds!

A few take-aways from the Round 3 meetings:

  • As expected, water demand is forecasted to increase in Oklahoma between now and 2075. The projected supply available will not support the growing demand in some basins across the state. 
  • With 2075 demand, all basins have some groundwater available for permitting. The forecast of available surface water for appropriation in 2075 is currently being prepared by the OCWP Team.
  • Participants expressed great interest in water management strategies that could potentially have the greatest water savings in their region. For instance, areas with high agricultural demand are in favor of looking into the Agricultural Options strategy (such as changing crop types and investing in more efficient equipment) over other options such as Stormwater Capture/Use.
  • Demand Management (such as municipal conservation methods) and Agricultural Options were the most favored water management strategies on a statewide basis. An increase in reliance of both surface and groundwater were the least.
  • Some participants found the list of proposed water management strategies did not capture the best approach for their region. Several participants expressed that Watershed Management was an important strategy that was missing.

Missed the previous meetings or just want to refresh your memory? Summaries of Round 1 and 2 meetings are on the OWRB’s water planning webpage under the Public Meetings link. 

Funding Resources

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced the following funding opportunities:

  • WaterSMART for Small Scale Water Efficiency Projects – Eligible projects include canal lining/piping, municipal metering, irrigation flow measurement, SCADA, landscape irrigation measures, high-efficiency indoor appliances and fixtures, and commercial cooling systems. Maximum award amount of $100,000. Application period 2 deadline is July 9, 2024, Application period 3 deadline is January 14, 2025, and Application period 4 deadline is July 8, 2025. This notice of funding opportunity announcement is available at www.grants.gov by searching for funding opportunity R24AS00059 or by clicking here.
  • WaterSMART for Water and Energy Efficiency- Projects should conserve and use water more efficiently (e.g., flow measurement, metering, delivery improvements, canal lining, etc.); increase production of renewable energy (e.g., hydropower, solar, wind energy, etc.); mitigate risks of water conflict; and/or accomplish other benefits that contribute to water supply reliability in the western United States. More details on eligible projects are outlined in Section C.4. of the funding opportunity. The second application period closes on October 30, 5:00 pm. This notice of funding opportunity announcement is available at grants.gov by searching for funding opportunity number R24AS00052 or by clicking here.  Learn more about the Water and Energy Efficiency Grants by clicking here.
  • Title XVI WIIN Act Water Reclamation and Reuse Projects - Eligible activities include planning, design, and construction of water reclamation and reuse facilities. The funding opportunity announcement R23AS00464 is available by clicking here. Applications are due September 30, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Desalination Construction Projects Under the WIIN Act – Eligible activities include planning, design, and construction of facilities to desalinate seawater or brackish surface water or groundwater. The funding opportunity announcement R23AS00465 is available by clicking here. Applications are due September 30, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.

The EPA announced the following technical assistance opportunity:

  • Creating Resilient Water Utilities (CRWU) Initiative – Drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater (water sector) utilities, along with other water sector stakeholders, are eligible to receive free climate change risk assessment technical assistance from EPA’s Creating Resilient Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative. Through this technical assistance process, CRWU will assist approximately 75 water sector utilities / communities in identifying long-term climate change adaptation strategies, as well as potential funding options to implement adaptive measures. If you are, or know of, a water sector utility that would like to receive this free technical assistance opportunity, please indicate your interest via email to Aliza Furneaux (aliza@epa.gov) no later than Friday, August 15, 2024.


Upcoming Activities

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board hosts well drilling continuing education courses, including two in June. Click here to learn more.

June 4, 10:00 am – OWRB will host the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund (CWSRF) Public Meeting for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2025 Intended Use Plan (IUP) and Project Priority List (PPL). The public may attend in person at 3800 North Classen Boulevard in Oklahoma City or virtually by registering online. See Appendix A in the updated Intended Use Plan for the most current Project Priority List. Entities highlighted in green are eligible for loan forgiveness if the project moves forward to OWRB approval by September 2024.

The EPA offers several Cybersecurity Training webinars over the coming months. The EPA issued an enforcement alert urging water system owners and operators to shore up their networks’ security systems by taking inventory of their operational assets, conducting cybersecurity awareness training and transitioning certain systems off the internet. Find out more by accessing the EPA Cybersecurity for the Water Sector webpage.

Closing Thoughts

The U.S. Water Alliance, American Society of Civil Engineers, and partners with the Value of Water Campaign recently released their newest report:

Bridging the Gap: The Power of Investment in Water

which discusses the impact of federal investment on our country’s water infrastructure, health, and economy. This report examines standard appropriation of federal funds versus a minimal-level approach to water infrastructure funding over the next 20 years:

“The Value of Water" Campaign counsels that we must fully close the water infrastructure funding gap to ensure a future where all Americans have reliable access to clean, safe drinking water and wastewater services. [Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)] has been a strong first step toward that future. Yet as this report illustrates, even with the continuation of IIJA funding levels, our nation’s water infrastructure gap will remain—revealing an increasingly urgent need to reimagine how we as a nation fund our water systems into the future.”

Your responses to the Local Projects and Programs Survey will help us as we evaluate the water infrastructure needs across our state.

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