Oklahoma Water Resources Board the Water Agency

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From the Planning Director

Utility Providers - Take the Infrastructure Needs Survey

The OWRB needs your help to identify water infrastructure needs for the 2025 Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan (OCWP).

This survey will be used to highlight system needs for state legislators and other decision makers. Please note that this survey will NOT be used for regulatory purposes. Complete the online survey and submit your system’s water infrastructure needs and documentation here.

In the months to come the OWRB will facilitate meetings around the state to present findings of the Infrastructure Needs Survey as well as 10-to-50-year supply and demand projections.

Summary of 2025 OCWP Update Activities:

The Big Picture

1.)Data and Modeling: While data collection and refinement will continue through 2025 (and beyond), by early next year the OCWP team expects to run draft supply and demand scenarios for each of the 82 Basins across the state.

2.) Infrastructure Needs Surveys: The Wastewater Needs Survey went live on August 16. The Drinking Water Needs Survey, funded separately, will be distributed this fall. Please help document your system's water needs in support of additional funding and financing programs.

3.) Engagement: Workgroups have begun meeting. These workgroups are tackling some of the most pressing challenges in water today, like water reuse, workforce retention/development, source water protection, and agriculture irrigation longevity.

The Details

1.)Data and Modeling
Information will be updated and refined as the OCWP progresses.

  • All planning work will be completed at the basin and regional levels using the same 82 planning basins and 13 planning regions as the 2012 OCWP.
  • Water Supply Analysis
  • Consumptive Demand forecasts:
    • Partners include the USGS, Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Oklahoma Corporation Commission, and Oklahoma Agricultural Census. Data from these partners along with OWRB annual water use reports from permit holders will be used to develop consumptive water demand projections through the year 2075. The water demand projections will continue to be refined as final state population projections utilizing the 2020 Census data and water provider survey responses are received. It is anticipated that basin level water demand projections will be available in early 2023
  • Water Supply Analysis:
    • Water supply analysis includes both the evaluation of whether sufficient water will physically be present ("wet water") and if there is sufficient permit capacity ("legal availability") for future needs in each basin. Both of these components will be used later in the planning process to determine if there are surface water excesses/surpluses/shortages and/or groundwater depletions in each basin between now and 2075.
  • Physical supply:
    • Using the same USGS gages as the 2012 OCWP Update, the period of record will be extended to capture recent streamflows and fill any gaps in the records. Similarly, groundwater volumes and recharge rates will be updated to reflect studies completed since the 2012 OCWP. This work is ongoing and is expected to be incorporated into the model later this year.
  • Legal (permit) supply:
    • We are in the early stages of incorporating interstate compact requirements and permit availability into the analysis. This work will continue through early next year
  • Supply Planning Model, Database, and Interface:
    • Work so far has focused on developing a GIS based model illustrating the relationships between supplies and demands for all 82 planning basins across the state. The model will be used as part of the physical water supply analysis and is being developed to support what-if analysis of possible water management strategies and solutions. In the coming months, we will continue to develop the model, incorporating new consumptive water demand projections and physical water supply information as well as improved functionality.
    • The model is being developed to support more sophisticated planning analyses and more effective distribution of planning results in an understandable format.
    • It is anticipated that preliminary model outputs (e.g., surface water gaps and groundwater depletions) will be available in the second half of 2023.
  • Water Quality Analysis
    • Using data from our ongoing water quality monitoring programs, the team is concentrating on developing practical, intuitive ways to present the water quality data and trends. Sample graphical displays have been developed and are undergoing beta-application in the Grand River Basin. The goal is to inform water users of existing water quality in both qualitative and quantitative terms. In addition, intuitive graphical descriptions of the water quality for a specific water body or stream segment will indicate if the quality has been improving, degrading, or constant and the practical impact on various water users relative to use-specific threshold values.

    2.) Infrastructure Needs Surveys

    • Needs surveys are part of both the Data effort and the Engagement effort. We are aiming to receive enough of the information for both surveys by end of 2022 so that we can begin to identify Focus Basins and have conversations with communities and water professionals on potential Water Management Strategies early in 2023.

    3.) Engagement: Workgroup committees are currently developing goals and objectives on the following topics: water reuse, workforce retention/development, source water protection, and agriculture irrigation longevity. In all cases, the intent is to raise awareness of each topic and the unique needs associated with each. The 2025 OCWP will house the findings and any statutory or funding recommendations.

Water Reuse Action Plan - Current Water Reuse Activities

+ 2025 OCWP Programmatic Work Plan completed

The OCWP Team has finalized its Work Plan and Engagement Plan utilizing input from selected work groups, agencies, and professionals from across the state. Learn more...

Section Roles &Responsibilities

The Water Planning section of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board is responsible for coordinating decadal updates of the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan (OCWP) and subsequently managing initiatives, studies, and projects that were recommended by the most recent update of the Water Plan (2012 OCWP).

The OWRB Planning Team strives to shed light on Oklahoma's most critical water issues and provide the resources you need to make informed decisions.

* Region and Basin data
* Statewide data
* Supplemental Studies

Past examples would include the statewide Water for 2060 initiative, the Produced Water Working Group with associated reports and studies, and the Instream Flow Advisory Group with resulting studies.

Staff are currently gathering data to build the statewide supply and demand database for the 2025 Update of the OCWP. With modeled projections, the database will serve as the point of reference during the 2025 OCWP Process. With assistance from OCWP and USACE engineering contractors, partner organizations, agencies, tribes, and universities, the infrastructure needs survey will soon be distributed and expert input will be gathered from private and public sectors on a variety of topics (TBD).

OWRB Planning through the OCWP process provides a snapshot of the current water position of the state.

With updated geospatial values to the basin scale on:

  • Current supply and 50-year projected demands,
  • Projected surface water gaps and groundwater depletions,
  • Projected estimates of infrastructure needs, and
  • Local input from water experts in every sector on the most pressing current issues