Oklahoma Water Resources Board the Water Agency

From the Director is a column published in the agency's quarterly newsletter, the Oklahoma Water News. The column provides the OWRB Executive Director an opportunity to share his unique viewpoint on pertinent state water issues and discuss various OWRB activities and events.

We’ve closed the chapter on another productive year at the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, and on behalf of our staff I wish each of you a rewarding 2016. While statewide record rainfall hit headlines across the state in 2015, water resources managers remained dedicated to planning for future water supply shortages. The Water for 2060 Advisory Council published their recommendations in a report to state officials, and other efforts to implement Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan (OCWP) priority recommendations remained on course.

The 36th Annual Oklahoma Governor’s Water Conference & Research Symposium was a resounding success. I’d like to thank attendees, sponsors, staff, and especially Governor Mary Fallin and the other presenters who continue to make this conference the state’s premier water policy and research event. Conference presentations are available online at www.owrb.ok.gov/waterconference.

Congratulations to Bill Sims and Richard Seybolt, who were named 2015 Oklahoma Water Pioneers during the conference. Bob Chipman and Trudy Rigney, the OWRB employees tragically lost in the Oklahoma City Bombing, were also honored with the Pioneer Award in a brief ceremony that included many former and current OWRB employees.

The commemorative ceremony was one of many events held in 2015 to acknowledge the 20th anniversary of the bombing. The OWRB family continues to gather in remembrance at an annual ribbon ceremony and participate in many other activities as well, including the OKC Memorial Marathon, which was entered by more than 30 OWRB employees last April.

A special thanks to our OWRB staff for another year of giving and community involvement. Whether it is volunteering for educational programs like Sciencefest and H2Oklahoma, surpassing our goals in the United Way State Charitable Campaign, volunteering for organizations such as Positive Tomorrows and the Salvation Army, or participating in the United Way’s Pacesetter Campaign, our staff gives back with impressive generosity. I’m extremely fortunate to work with so many individuals who make giving back a priority.

We’ve also encouraged employee wellness at our agency through activities such as fitness walks, sports leagues, educational seminars, and much more.

For these reasons and many more, we were again named a winner of The Oklahoman’s “Top Oklahoma Workplaces Award.” Thanks to the anonymous input of our employees, we are the only state agency to have received this distinction for three consecutive years. Commending the OWRB for this well-deserved recognition, Governor Mary Fallin called the OWRB “a great example of efficient and responsive state government of which the citizens of Oklahoma can be proud.”

Finally, I’d like to recognize the contributions of the following dedicated public servants who retired last year: Wilma Beagle, Gavin Brady, Lou Klaver, Robert Lindenberger, Terri Sparks, and Rick Wicker. Each of you helped shape the OWRB into an agency that serves the public with distinction and commitment.

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Page last updated: January 28, 2016

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