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With passage of House Bill 3055 (the Water For 2060 Act) in 2012, Oklahoma became the first state in the nation to establish a bold, statewide goal of consuming no more fresh water in 2060 than is consumed today. The OWRB has partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin preliminary work required to support the new Water for 2060 Advisory Council, chaired by OWRB Executive Director, J.D. Strong.
Water for 2060 Advisory Council
The fifteen members of the Water for 2060 Advisory Council are charged with studying and recommending appropriate water conservation practices, incentives, and educational programs to moderate statewide water usage while preserving Oklahoma’s population growth and economic development goals. The Council's final report of findings and recommendations will be submitted to the Governor, Speaker of the House, and President Pro Tempore by late 2015.
As one of its eight Priority Recommendations, the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan (OCWP) advocates incentives and voluntary initiatives that strive to maintain statewide fresh water use at current (2012) levels through 2060:
For the 2012 OCWP Update, various conservation scenarios were analyzed to reduce water demand and thus mitigate the degree of projected water deficits in Oklahoma. The analysis targeted the state’s two largest water use sectors, Municipal and Industrial (M&I) and Crop Irrigation, which together account for about 72 percent of the overall current (2010) statewide water demand. The study contemplated both “moderate” (Scenario I) and “substantially expanded” (Scenario II) levels of conservation, collectively summarized below:
Analysis results indicate that full implementation of moderate conservation would reduce 2060 water demands to levels approaching those forecasted for 2020. Additionally, full implementation of substantially expanded conservation, or at least some of its components, would result in facilitation of the ambitious conservation goal set forth in the OCWP. In most basins, managing water demand through conservation activities was shown to be equally effective in reducing or eliminating gaps or storage depletions, particularly in alluvial aquifers. More specifically, moderate conservation could reduce surface water gaps statewide by 25% and reduce the number of basins with projected surface water gaps from 55 to 42; reduce alluvial groundwater depletions by 32% (from 63 basins to 51); and reduce bedrock groundwater depletions by 15% (from 34 basins to 26).
Detailed information on these conservation techniques is available in the Water Demand Forecast Report Addendum: Conservation and Climate Change. In addition to the above measures, artificial aquifer recharge projects [view report] and the expanded use/reuse of marginal quality waters [view report]–such as brackish groundwater, treated wastewater effluent, production water from oil and gas operations, and stormwater runoff–could also have significant utility in reducing future demand placed on fresh water in Oklahoma. Both options were investigated as part of the OCWP update.
Water Conservation Tips
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Page last updated: July 17, 2014