Oklahoma Water News

3rd Quarter, 2019

Oklahoma Water Resources Board

Flooded Well

The 2019 Oklahoma Governor's Water Conference and Research Symposium will be held at the Reed Conference Center in Midwest City on Dec. 4-5.

Governor Kevin Stitt will provide the Keynote Address during the luncheon at noon on Dec. 4 and present the Oklahoma Water Pioneer Awards to this year's winners: Tom Buchanan, Ann Keeley, and Arnold Miller. Other featured speakers include Dean Amhaus of The Water Council and Kevin Moran, Senior Director of the Colorado River Program for the Environmental Defense Fund. Breakout sessions will be held on the following topics: The Business Case for Building Resilient Public Water Supply, Fueling Industry and Energy Production, Partners in a Water Secure Future, and Disrupting the Economic Impacts of Flooding. Research Symposium sessions will be held concurrently. A general session will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Dec. 4 on Innovating Oklahoma Agriculture Production. On December 5, the third annual Oklahoma Water for 2060 Excellence Awards will be presented at 8:30 a.m. Click here for the final agenda.

Strategic Alliance

The Strategic Alliance was signed on August 22 by the Oklahoma State Secretary of Energy and Environment, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Oklahoma Water Resources Board, and Oklahoma Rural Water Association, and was ratified by Governor Kevin Stitt.

The formal signing took place at the Oklahoma Rural Water Association's fall conference at Sequoyah State Park's Western Hills Lodge. The alliance agreement commits the organizations to work together to help meet the missions of the organizations and to improve the sustainability of Oklahoma rural and small community water and wastewater systems.

It is estimated that more than 1,300 water systems in the state are in need of long range sustainability planning. Some of these systems exceed one hundred years old, and many of the systems are not prepared for the expansion needed to meet growing needs. Without enough potable clean water and wastewater system capacity the economic development of many of these communities will be a risk.

No one organization or agency has all the resources to address the water and wastewater system sustainability planning that will be vital to the success of meeting and exceeding Oklahoma’s water needs into the next century. The strategic alliance formalizes ongoing cooperation and collaboration among these organizations and challenges them to find new ways to extend these efforts.

FA Loans—393 totaling $1,244,510,000

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—350 totaling $1,702,584,001

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—212 totaling $1,356,899,183

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—697 totaling $62,020,690

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—588 totaling $35,073,082

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: 2,254 totaling $4,404,130,804
Estimated Savings: $1,471,445,671

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.