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Press Release
March 22, 2016

Oklahoma's Water for 2060 Initiative Featured at White House Water Summit

The State of Oklahoma's Water for 2060 initiative was highlighted today as part of a first ever White House Water Summit to raise awareness of the importance of the nation's water-related challenges, as well as to highlight new solutions and commitments to building a sustainable water future. The Oklahoma Water Resources Board's Executive Director, J.D. Strong, was one of only a handful of State water directors invited to the White House event, where Oklahoma's Water for 2060 initiative was highlighted. More than 150 institutions also joined the Summit in announcing new efforts and on-going commitments to enhance the sustainability of water in the U.S. by managing water resources and infrastructure for the long term.

"It was an honor to represent the Oklahoma at the Summit today and to have the opportunity to highlight our forward thinking Water for 2060 initiative," said J.D. Strong. "Oklahoma's Water for 2060 effort, which arose from the 2012 Update of the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan (OCWP), is proof that our state is a national leader in proactive, thorough, and inclusive water planning and management practices."

Recognizing that the most feasible way to combat drought and develop a more secure water future, the Oklahoma Legislature passed the Water for 2060 Act (House Bill 3055) in 2012, which established an unprecedented goal of using no more fresh water in 2060 than was used in 2012 while supporting Oklahoma’s continued growth and prosperity. A Final Report of recommendations, submitted to Governor Fallin and the State Legislature in October 2015 by the Water for 2060 Advisory Council, contains 12 key recommendations that are the product of interactive dialogue with water users across Oklahoma and collaborative discussions to determine approaches that can effectively promote water efficiency efforts by all Oklahomans.

The advisory council based its recommendations on best practices in use in Oklahoma and incentive programs in place in other states. The information was supplemented with an analysis of data from the 2012 Update of the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan and estimates of the cost-effectiveness of various measures for enhancing water use efficiency and the use of alternative sources of supply. The OCWP provided projections of water demands though 2060 for each of the state’s seven major water use sectors indicating that fresh water use would need to be reduced by about 33% to meet the Water for 2060 goal.

"Chiefly, Water for 2060 is designed to highlight the most overlooked, and without a doubt, cheapest source of water – conserved water. By practicing conservation, we can avoid being forced into more drastic and costly measures while in the midst of drought, and also prevent a return to wasteful ways when drought subsides. Most importantly, we can ensure that all current Oklahomans, and all future generations, have a supply of clean, safe water for decades to come," added Strong.

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