Beneficial Uses Explained

Beneficial Uses are designated to each of the state’s waterbodies as a requirement of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). Beneficial Uses are the kinds of activities that a waterbody can be used for. They are based upon physical, chemical, and biological characteristics, as well as geographical setting, scenic qualities, and economic considerations. If a waterbody does not meet the requirements as set forth in the Water Quality Standards it is considered "Impaired" and are listed as such on the Clean Water Act 303d List of Impaired Waters created by the CWA. Appropriate uses for each waterbody are identified by considering the following:

For each waterbody, the assigned Beneficial Uses have water quality criteria. Each Beneficial Use is assessed using a different set of criteria. These criteria are designed to maintain a waterbody at a level necessary to meet its designated uses.

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Oklahoma Water Resources Board   3800 Classen Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73118   405.530.8800