Oklahoma is getting pretty dry, as the latest drought maps show. In response to the drought crisis, state water agency officials and planning specialists will hold a series of public meetings to share information and obtain feedback on water conservation strategies that could mitigate projected water shortages in Oklahoma’s most compromised areas – the “hot spots”.
Agriculture producers, water providers, and interested citizens residing in and around these areas—those determined to have the most significant water supply challenges within the next 50 years—will be offered an opportunity to shape actions that could collectively satisfy future water demands and thus avoid substantial water shortages projected in those areas. The meetings, hosted by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, will be held March 11 in Goodwell at the Hughes Strong Auditorium on the Oklahoma Panhandle State University campus, March 12 at the Quartz Mountain Resort (north of Altus), and March 13 in Duncan at the Simmons Center. Each meeting will start at 6 pm.
Oklahoma’s 82 watershed planning basins are likely to experience surface water and/or groundwater deficits by 2060. (A copy of these investigations can be downloaded at: Hot Spot Report). While the magnitude or probability of projected shortages is relatively minor in many areas, each of the dozen Hot Spot basins are facing potentially large and recurring water deficiencies that require more immediate attention. “In 2006, when we initiated the Water Plan update, our overriding goal was to meet the long-term water needs of every Oklahoman,” says J.D. Strong, OWRB Executive Director. “If we can address the looming water supply problems of those citizens and water users at greatest risk—those residing in identified Hot Spots—then we can certainly implement effective strategies wherever water challenges exist in Oklahoma.”
With the Legislature’s passage of the Water for 2060 Act in 2012—prompted by a priority recommendation of the most recent OCWP update—Oklahoma has become the first state in the nation to establish a statewide goal of consuming no more fresh water in 2060 than is consumed today. To meet this ambitious goal, the Water for 2060 Advisory Council was convened in 2013 to begin formulating conservation practices, incentives, and educational programs that could accordingly moderate statewide water usage. The OWRB, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and their contractors support the work of the Advisory Council while conducting more intensive investigations of conservation strategies proposed by the OCWP.
For more information, contact John Harrington at email@example.com.
Thanks to a generous grant provided by the Coca-Cola Foundation, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is conducting a water and land issues symposium every Friday in March 2014. The program titled Surviving the Elements: Land & Water Issues of the West aims to increase awareness of such issues in the American West, by focusing on stewardship and conservation.
The educational program series is focusing on the ranching, farming, agri-business sectors with real stories and discussions on such topics as land and pasture management, water usage, conservation measures, herd management, new resource preservation and enhancement strategies. The Museum aims to make an impact, be a change agent and facilitate solutions in this important Western industry. At the center of this conversation will be the four day symposium held in March 2014 featuring world-renowned experts on the topic.
Please encourage your students, clients, customers, advocates, specialists to register and attend this one-of-a-kind event with nationally-recognized keynote speakers (the Coca-Cola grant covers price of admission; a modest $10 fee buys lunch, program collateral…) or sign-up online for streaming video.
For more information and speaker schedule, go to www.survivingtheelements.org.
On February 13th, the City of Edmond announced their designation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Green Power Community, the first such designation to be conferred upon any city in the state of Oklahoma. The designation recognizes the use of renewable energy in both the City of Edmond’s facilities and the University of Central Oklahoma campus.
As part of the development of the City of Oklahoma City’s new comprehensive plan, planOKC, six workshops will be held next week throughout Oklahoma City to gain input from the public. With a population of about 600,000 expected to grow by 50% over the next four decades, planOKC is intended to plan for the future of Oklahoma City’s environment, communities, transportation and economy.
The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments has received funding to host a transportation management center (TMC) workshop for the Central Oklahoma region. As part of the Technology and Innovation Deployment Program funds allocated through MAP-21, ACOG has been awarded $6,500 to host a regional workshop to initiate development of a TMC. The goal of the workshop will be to raise the level of knowledge and awareness of local and state elected officials and decision makers on the benefits of a regional TMC.
The Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) in conjunction with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has released the long-anticipated groundwater flow study on the Central Oklahoma aquifer. The study includes one of the major Oklahoma groundwater basins, the Garber-Wellington aquifer.
The City of Norman, in conjunction with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, will hold a public meeting regarding the proposed reconstruction of a portion of West Lindsey Street from 24th Avenue SW to Berry Road. The meeting will be held Monday, March 3rd, from 6PM to 8PM in the Main Conference Room at Sooner Legends Inn and Suites, 1200 24th Avenue SW.
Due to inclement weather our groundwater seminar has been postponed to a warmer month – March!
ACOG and PEC will host the groundwater seminar on March 13 – at new time and place. Hopefully we will be pass the prospects of subzero wind chill and icy roads by that time! For those of you who signed up, please check with Jim Roberts at PEC (James.Roberts@pec1.com) to reconfirm your reservation on March 13.
For those of you who were thinking about signing up, we have moved the venue over to Oklahoma History Center. So there should be plenty of seats for all!
Nearly half of all water used in Oklahoma is groundwater. Drought, tightening regulations, population growth and increased competition for the same or limited water resources are forcing communities to be more strategic in the management of their existing supplies. The good news is that help is available.