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Water Issues in Oklahoma
EPA Regional Administrator, State Leaders Praise Oklahoma's Stimulus Program
February 10, 2010 - During Oklahoma's Water Appreciation Day at the State Capitol on Tuesday, the newly-appointed regional director of the Environmental Protection Agency joined state legislative and appointed officials in recognizing the substantial work accomplished by state agencies and communities in implementing federal stimulus water and wastewater projects.
"We are proud of what Oklahoma has been able to do under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," according to Al Armendariz, Administrator of EPA's Region Six, which includes Oklahoma. "When the Act provided an opportunity to preserve and create jobs, and invest in critical environmental areas like water infrastructure, Oklahoma seized that opportunity. It was one of the first states in the country to qualify for and to spend their money on needed projects - to clean polluted waters and to improve drinking water. We congratulate the State of Oklahoma for their hard work, taking full advantage of all that the Recovery Act could provide for the people and environment of Oklahoma." more...
The Statewide Comprehensive Water Plan Moves Ahead On Schedule
The plan that is slated for legislative approval in February of 2012 began in 2006. At that time the state legislature directed the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) to update the state's Comprehensive Water Plan (OCWP). The update, which began in Jan. 2007, includes in-depth technical studies and, for the first time, substantial public input. 42 Local Input Meetings followed by 11 Regional meetings have culminated into an upcoming Town Hall Meeting to put forth final recommendations in the OCWP. This document will be used by state and local governments and planners for decades to come with detailed information and forecasts on current and future water supplies and demands over the 82 planning basins in our state.
Aquatic Nuisance Species Are A Growing Concern In Oklahoma
Have you ever heard of Alligator weed or watermilfoil? Hydrilla? Didymo? Golden alga? Zebra mussels? These species are not native to Oklahoma and are commonly called "invasive species" because they cause ecological or economic harm. They have few, if any, predators to control them and can quickly dominate a waterbody. Once they get into a lake or stream it may be impossible to remove them. Hence, the current strategy is through public awareness to reduce the spread of these species by humans. Much of this can be done by simply cleaning your boat or waders (learn more) or any other gear that may be contaminated with plant fragments or zebra mussels. The Department of Wildlife Conservation has been tasked as the state agency to tackle the issue of Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS). You can learn more from the ODWC website or from the newly formed Oklahoma Invasive Plant Council made up primarily of state and university biologists with the intent of tracking the entry and spread of new species and increasing public awareness.
Where can I find water quality information on my lake or stream?
I think my drinking water is polluted, what do I do?
You can take a sample to the State's environmental Lab for a small fee. More information on the lab and how and where to properly take your sample can be found here.
How can I find out if my property lies within a floodplain?
Visit the National Flood Insurance Program's website, Floodsmart.gov, and enter your address into the "One-Step Flood Risk Profile"
I think someone is polluting the stream or water in my area, what do I do?
Report this immediately to the state's 24-hour Environmental Complaints Hotline at 1-800-522-0206 or you can report it online here.
How can I volunteer to monitor my stream?
The Oklahoma Conservation Commission has a volunteer monitoring program called Blue Thumb. Many groups participate from individual students, science classes, neighborhoods, and civic groups that monitor streams all over the state. You will learn than you might expect.