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The Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan

2007 water demands



The Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan (OCWP) contains a wealth of technical data, information, and policy recommendations manifested in an Executive Report, 13 companion Watershed Planning Region reports, and many additional technical study findings and reports. The OCWP was bolstered by an unprecedented level of public input and reflects cutting-edge water science. It serves as an indispensible resource for water providers, policy makers, and water users in making informed decisions impacting local and regional water use and management through 2060 and beyond. (The 2012 OCWP Update was finalized and approved by the OWRB on October 17, 2011.)


OCWP Implementation


Policy Development & Public Participation

The OWRB contracted with the Oklahoma Water Resources Research Institute (OWRRI) in 2006 to initiate an intensive policy development and public participation process. (more)

Technical & Engineering Studies

Supporting the Water Plan are technical and engineering assessments performed primarily by CDM, the lead engineering firm contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers through a cooperative agreement with the OWRB, as well as research studies accomplished by various state and federal agencies and universities. These studies have provided planners with information required to lay the groundwork for effective and innovative water policy for Oklahoma. (more)  


OCWP Executive Report

The final 2012 OCWP Update Executive Report serves as a concise compilation of technical and policy information produced over the five-year planning period. In addition to background information on water planning and management in Oklahoma, the Executive Report includes a statewide assessment of water supplies, future projections of demand, and potential options to alleviate anticipated deficits of particular concern. The report's Water Policy Recommendations section presents, for formal legislative consideration, dozens of suggested measures to address Oklahoma's key water problems and issues.


Watershed Planning Region Reports

Thirteen regional planning reports, including 82 basin/watershed reports, provide the major technical component of the 2012 OCWP Update. Each Watershed Planning Region Report presents information from both a regional and local perspective, including water supply/demand analysis results, forecasted water supply shortages, potential supply solutions and alternatives, and supporting technical information.


OCWP Study Workgroup & Supplemental Reports

Additional information gained during the development of the 2012 OCWP Update is provided in various technical background reports providing more detailed assessments of water availability and demand, including study methodologies, conducted by the OWRB's lead engineering partners. In addition, state and federal agencies, organizations, special interest groups, and citizens lent their expertise in investigating and providing recommendations to deal with numerous policy and technical issues of special importance.


Policy Development & Public Participation

The OWRB contracted with the Oklahoma Water Resources Research Institute (OWRRI) in 2006 to initiate an intensive policy development and public participation process.

Local Input Meetings, or “listening sessions,” were held April through November 2007 at 42 locations statewide. The meetings were well-attended and drew a wide variety of comments on Oklahoma’s priority water issues and problems.

Regional Input Meetings were held during the second half of 2008 in each of Oklahoma’s 11 Council of Oklahoma Government (COG) regions. At these meetings, the OWRRI facilitated discussions among 340 appointed participants and additional members of the public at large about issues raised in the Local Input Meetings. The purpose of these meetings was to ensure that the full range of Oklahoma’s water issues--and eventual policy recommendations--were identified for inclusion in the final statewide plan.

Based on an analysis of the Regional Input Meeting discussions and comments, the following ten themes were identified for evaluation at Planning Workshops: Balancing Water Supply and Demand, Water Conservation, Water Availability, Surface Water-Groundwater Relationships, Land Use Practices, Water Sales and Transfers, Inter-Governmental Water Resource Management, Inter-Agency Water Resource Management, Stakeholder Involvement and Conflict Management, and Consideration of Local and Regional Issues.

Planning Workshops, the third phase of the Water Plan’s public participation process, consisted of a series of ten planning workshops held June 4, August 13, and October 22, 2009, at the Metro-Tech Springlake Campus in Oklahoma City. The workshops were organized according to five water supply themes in the morning and five water management themes in the afternoon. At each workshop, 20 participants were invited to outline water management alternatives that satisfactorily address issues, concerns, and suggestions produced by participants in the first two phases. Resulting recommendations were the focus of a three-day Town Hall meeting, hosted by the Oklahoma Academy, in May 2010.

OCWP Feedback Meetings, held in April and May of 2011, provided a forum for citizens to review draft findings for both technical evaluations and policy recommendations.


Technical & Engineering Studies

The OCWP Statewide Supply and Demand Analysis has resulted in forecasts of water demand and supply availability through 2060. Utilizing a variety of demographic, economic, and related data, consumptive water demands have been calculated for municipal & industrial (M&I), self-supplied industrial (including oil and gas production), and agricultural (irrigation/livestock) water use. M&I demands and future water supply alternatives have been determined down to the provider level. Projected demands have been evaluated in light of current and future water supplies to identify areas of potential surplus and shortfall. In those areas where water surface water “gaps” and groundwater "depletions" are anticipated, modeling and other water management tools have been employed to identify potential solutions to address local water needs.

As a key foundation for the OCWP technical work, a Microsoft Access and geographical information system (GIS) based analysis tool, "Oklahoma H2O," was created to compare projected demands to physical supplies for each of 82 delineated stream basins. Oklahoma H2O enables detailed examination of demands and supplies, identification of areas of potential “wet water” shortages (physical supply availability constraints), and evaluation of potential water supply solutions. Developed to allow flexibility to perform a variety of “what-if” scenarios, the tool provides invaluable assistance to state water users and providers.

Thirteen regional planning reports, including 82 basin/watershed reports, provide a user-friendly summary of OCWP technical analysis.


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