Sixth Oklahoma Water Appreciation Day Set for March 9
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Published: 05-Mar-2011
CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published 04-Mar-2011

The sixth annual Oklahoma Water Appreciation Day will be held March 9 at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) will host the event featuring state agency and organization booths and displays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Capitol’s 4th floor rotunda.

“Water Appreciation Day presents a unique opportunity for groups to demonstrate the importance of Oklahoma’s water resources, as well as provide information on their water management, conservation, and educational programs for state legislators and other government officials,” says J.D. Strong, OWRB Executive Director. “This annual celebration of Oklahoma’s diverse water resources not only focuses the attention of our state leaders on pressing water issues, but also serves to recognize those who strive to protect our most precious natural resource.”

At noon on Water Appreciation Day, legislators, agency officials, and representatives of various water-related organizations will gather in the Governor’s Large Conference Room to recognize the event and learn about important developments related to state water resources management and planning. OWRB Chairman Rudy Herrmann, Strong, and OWRB Director of Planning Kyle Arthur will be on hand to provide the latest information concerning the ongoing update of the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan (OCWP), which is entering its final phase.

Major components of the Water Plan, which will be completed later this year and presented to the Legislature in 2012, include numerous technical studies of state water supplies, infrastructure needs, and priority water management issues, as well as a water policy development effort strengthened through unprecedented public participation.

The OWRB, Oklahoma’s water agency, was created in 1957 with the original charge of identifying water problems and proposing policies for fair and equitable water laws.

The Board now directs staff in many areas, including the administration of permits for the beneficial use of stream and groundwater, studies of the quality and quantity of surface and groundwaters, ensuring the safety of private dams, encouragement of responsible floodplain management, coordination of four interstate stream compacts, monitoring of streamflows and groundwater levels, administration of loans and grants to assist communities and rural water districts in the construction of water and wastewater facilities, development of Oklahoma Water Quality Standards to curb water pollution, identification of pollution sources, restoration of water quality, and oversight of the state’s long-range water planning.

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