“In 1997, before BUMP, Oklahoma was making decisions and even laws with little or no real data about the causes and sources of pollution to our lakes and streams… even the regulated community was clamoring for a baseline monitoring program. ...folks may have forgotten how we were making major decisions in the dark” – J.D. Strong - Secretary of Environment; OWRB Executive Director
Created in 1998, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board's Beneficial Use Monitoring Program (BUMP) was developed in response to a growing awareness that key water quality management decisions were being made based on inadequate or incomplete data. BUMP's end use is to provide the information needed for Oklahoma's Water Quality Standards, makes possible the successful completion/implementation of the Comprehensive Water Plan and prioritization of pollution control activities. The specific objectives of BUMP are to detect and quantify water quality trends, document and quantify impairments of assigned beneficial uses, and identify pollution problems before they become a pollution crisis.
In a river or stream, what is the impact of development on turbidity and how are turbidity trends affecting water or wastewater treatment costs and fish and wildlife habitat?
At what point do wastewater discharges exceed a stream's capacity to assimilate those wastes?
What are the specific effects of excessive agricultural or urban fertilizers, pesticides and related pollutants?
The answers to such questions require a continuous long-term program to detect trends and is why BUMP is so important to Oklahoma. Now in its twelfth year, BUMP data has become indispensable to sound decision-making. Problem areas can now be identified before mitigation activities become too costly or are ineffective. More effective and targeted pollution control and remediation programs can be developed. Pollution "hot spots" can be identified and activities can be modified to reduce pollution stress on waterbodies.
Ongoing state water quality monitoring through BUMP ensures that future generations of Oklahomans will be able to make fair and defensible decisions concerning both the quality and quantity of future supplies critical to the continued growth and welfare of the state.
“Someone asked me once, ‘When can we quit spending money on all of this monitoring? Don’t we have enough data?’ which elicited my reply ‘When can you quit going to the doctor for your annual checkup?’” Derek Smithee – Division Chief of Water Quality.