Oklahoma Water Resources Board the Water Agency

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Frequently Asked Questions

Dam Safety

Who is considered a dam owner? What dams are regulated by the OWRB? What qualifies a dam as jurisdictional? Which criteria are used to classify dams? What determines the hazard potential of dams? What does it mean for a dam to be high hazard potential? Do I need to apply and receive written authorization for the construction, enlargement, repair, or alteration of my dam? Do I need an application with the OWRB to dam up a creek or stream on my property? What qualifies a dam as agriculture-exempt? How often should my dam be inspected? Who can inspect my dam? Why is it recommended that trees and other woody vegetation not be allowed to grow on dams? What is an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)? Are EAPs required?

Financial Assistance

When submitting an application for financial assistance to the OWRB, what engineering information should be included? Am I required to hire an engineer to prepare a preliminary engineering report? Which financial applications require submittal of an Environmental Information Document (EID)? I would like to obtain a loan from the OWRB. How do I get started? Is there a penalty for prepayment of OWRB loan principal? What are the interest rates for OWRB loans? Are previously incurred engineering expenses eligible for reimbursement from OWRB loan funds? Am I required to hire a financial advisor? Am I required to hire an attorney? Is a trustee bank required? When are loan payments due? What type of "emergency" would qualify for an OWRB Emergency Grant? What should a complete grant application include? We have been awarded a REAP and/or Emergency Grant. When will we get the money? When are REAP applications due?

Floodplain Management

What flood zone is my property in? Do I need a permit if I want to build something in a floodplain? What happens if there's another storm and I don't have flood insurance? What is a Preferred Risk Policy? My lender requires I carry flood insurance, but I think the flood map may be wrong. What can I do? My property is in a regulatory floodplain, but my community does not participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. Can I purchase flood insurance? My property is not in a regulatory floodplain. Can I/Should I still get flood insurance?

Groundwater & Well Drilling

How do I find out if there is sufficient groundwater available in an area where I am considering purchasing land? Where can I get depth-to-water information on the state's aquifers? How can I find information about water wells located on or near my property? I need to have a water well drilled. How can I find a reputable well driller in my area? Am I required to locate my water well some minimum distance from my property boundaries?

Rural Water

How do I find out if there is a rural water system in my area? Does the OWRB handle complaints about water rates and/or operation of rural water districts?

Water Quality

Where can I get my water tested? What is the quality of my local lake, stream, or aquifer? Which lakes are safe for my children to swim in? Are the fish I catch in Oklahoma waters safe to eat? What should I do if my pond or lake has suffered a fish kill? What should I do if I have a complaint about the odor, taste, or appearance of drinking water and/or water pollution? I don't like the seaweed growing in my pond and want to get rid of it. Do I need a license to apply a herbicide? What should I do if I have problems or questions about soil erosion and/or sediment in my lake or pond? Why should wetlands be protected with specific water quality standards? How are wetlands protected with water quality standards now? How are the draft wetland water quality standards being developed? What are the benefits of adopting wetland WQS? Is other information such as, mapping, classification, and assessment methods needed before wetland WQS? Once wetland water quality standards are adopted how will this change water quality programs? Will the new standards expand the area under state jurisdiction for water quality programs? What happens if we don't adopt wetland WQS? How can I find out more information and get involved?

Water Use Permitting

Do I need a water use permit from the OWRB? Is a water use permit required to grow marijuana or hemp? Can a holder of an active water use permit that authorizes water to be used for irrigation/agriculture use their permit to grow marijuana? How do I apply for a long-term water use permit? How do I apply for a 90-Day Permit? How much are the fees? Do I have to report my water use? Why did I receive a water use report for land I no longer own? Am I required to locate my water well some minimum distance from my property boundaries?

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Last updated: August 12, 2022

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