Oklahoma Water News

1st Quarter, 2019

Oklahoma Water Resources Board

OWRB Dashboard for OK Legislators

New OWRB dashboards for Oklahoma legislators provide a district-level look at water projects and information.

Both dashboards feature graphs and charts with statewide and local information about OWRB projects with interactive maps that tie into the OWRB's extensive GIS data repository.

The maps contain a number of layers representing current water use permits, jurisdictional dams, groundwater wells from the OWRB well log database, National Flood Insurance Program participation by city and county, major groundwater basin studies and status, major reservoir studies and status, approved loans and grants through the OWRB's financial assistance programs, water quality information, and more. Map symbols can be clicked for detailed information. Map layers can be turned off and on, the background can be changed, and a search function lets users zoom in to a specific district, town, or other area of interest.

The dashboards are part of an ongoing effort of the OWRB to provide user-friendly products to the public and state leadership that will increase access to detailed and current information about water resources and aid in policy development and other decision making.

Water Appreciation Day

OWRB to host 14th annual Water Appreciation Day.

Water agency and organization displays will be featured from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This annual celebration is held to demonstrate the importance of Oklahoma's water resources and provide information on water management, conservation, protection, and educational programs.

Pending Permit Status Dashboard

The water permit application status dashboard features an interactive map showing current pending permit applications.

With the exception of domestic use, permits must be obtained from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board for all beneficial uses of water in Oklahoma including agriculture, irrigation, water supply, hydroelectric power generation, municipal, industrial, navigation, recreation, and fish and wildlife propagation.

As required by Oklahoma statutes, all long-term permits to appropriate water go through a thorough review process that includes a public notification of the application in a newspaper of general circulation. The Oklahoma Water Resources Board informs the permit applicant that it is time to publish the notice, but does not control the exact dates of publication or the exact newspaper utilized by the Applicant. Permit applications are not approved or denied until all phases of the publication process are complete.

FA Loans—391 totaling $1,215,385,000

The OWRB's Financial Assistance Program (FAP), created by the State Legislature in 1979, provides loans for water and wastewater system improvements in Oklahoma. The tremendous popularity of the bond loan program is due, in part, to extended payoff periods of up to 30 years at very competitive interest rates.

CWSRF Loans—335 totaling $1,648,454,827

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan program was created in 1988 to provide a renewable financing source for communities to use for their wastewater infrastructure needs. The CWSRF program is Oklahoma's largest self-supporting wastewater financing effort, providing low-interest loans to communities in need.

DWSRF Loans—207 totaling $1,330,876,980

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan program is an initiative of the OWRB and ODEQ to assist municipalities and rural water districts in the construction and improvement of drinking water systems. These projects are often mandated for communities to obtain compliance with increasingly stringent federal standards related to the treatment of drinking water.

REAP Grants—690 totaling $61,231,044

The Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) Program was created by the State Legislature in 1996. REAP grants, used for water/wastewater system improvements, primarily target rural communities with populations of 7,000 or less, but priority is afforded to those with fewer than 1,750 inhabitants.

Drought Response Program Grants—6 totaling $418,848

Through the OWRB's Drought Response Program, funding is available for communities in most dire need during state drought emergencies declared by the Governor. A maximum of $300,000 is diverted from existing OWRB Emergency Grant proceeds to fund the Program.

Emergency Grants—581 totaling $34,512,943

Emergency grants, limited to $100,000, are awarded to correct situations constituting a threat to life, health, or property and are an indispensable component of the agency's financial assistance strategy.

Water for 2060 Grants—4 totaling $1,500,000

Through the Water for 2060 Grant Program, funding was available in 2015 for municipalities, counties, water/sewer districts and other public entities for projects that highlight the responsible use of water.

Emergency Drought Relief Grants—4 totaling $1,125,000

Through the Emergency Drought Relief Grant Program, funding was provided in 2013 by the Legislature via the Emergency Drought Relief Commission to address severe drought issues in specific Oklahoma counties.

FA Loans & Grants Map

Total Loans/Grants Approved: 2,219 totaling $4,293,504,642
Estimated Savings: $1,400,421,382

Applicants eligible for water/wastewater project financial assistance vary according to the specific program's purpose and requirements, but include towns and other municipalities with proper legal authority, various districts established under Title 82 of Oklahoma Statutes (rural water, master/water conservancy, rural sewage, and irrigation districts), counties, public works authorities, and/or school districts. Applications for agency financial assistance programs are evaluated individually by agency staff. Those meeting specific program requirements are recommended by staff for approval at monthly meetings of the nine-member Water Board. For more information, call (405) 530-8800 or go to www.owrb.ok.gov/financing.