The Oklahoma Water Resources Board is creating a 50-year Comprehensive Water Plan to ensure the state has an adequate supply for a growing demand, according to a news report issued Thursday by KOSU. The board will host several public meetings beginning in August to obtain public comments.
The last comprehensive plan was prepared in 2012. The 2012 plan generated additional studies by the U.S. Geological Survey focusing on the quality and availability of groundwater in Oklahoma’s aquifers.
Public water systems will provide some solutions but the comprehensive plan will provide guidance, data and resources, according to the report.
Planning Director Owen Mills said the OWRB would like to do studies on lake yields — how much water can be pulled from a lake without depleting it, especially during drought.
“A town needs to know that,” said Mills. “If their only source of water is that city lake, and they don’t know how much water they actually have, it makes it harder for them to plan for the future.”
Water treatment operators will also be another topic of discussion. It is estimated that one-third of water operators are anticipated to retire in the next ten years. Mills believes there may be a knowledge gap as a result of the retirements and lack of trained recruitments to operate the specialized equipment at water treatment plans.
The OWRB will host public input meetings virtually and in person across the state beginning in August. The meetings will initially involve discussion among local officials and water suppliers followed by input from the public.
“To learn more about the 2025 Water Comprehensive Plan or about meetings in your area, you can visit the OWRB’s website. Links to virtual meetings and info about future public input rounds will be sent via email to people who subscribe to Water Comprehensive Plan updates.
Dates and Locations:
For in-person meetings, the discussion for local officials and water personnel begins at 2:00 p.m., and the discussion for the general public runs from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Southwest Technology Center
711 W. Tamarack Rd., Altus, OK 73521
Chickasaw Nation Community Center
700 N. Mississippi Ave., Ada, OK 74820
Rogers State University
1701 W. Will Rogers Blvd., Claremore, OK 74017
High Plains Technology Center
3921 34th St., Woodward, OK 73801
900 N. Portland Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73107
Virtual meeting, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Virtual meeting, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.