Tuesday, March 3, 2015
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) todayannounced the approval of $1,047,700 in grants to three rural Oklahoma communities for water system improvement projects that will save approximately 16.7 million gallons of water per year once completed.
The three grants were made available to Boise City, Fort Supply and Shattuck through the state's Water for 2060 Drought Grant program, announced by the governor in 2014, to municipalities, counties, water/sewer districts and other public entities to help fund projects that highlight responsible use of water.
“As we enter a fifth year of drought, it’s more important than ever to help communities, agricultural producers and industries develop strategies to endure the water supply issues we currently face, as well as to prepare for the inevitable droughts of the future,” said Fallin. “Responsible use of water remains the most immediate, direct and cost-effective way to accomplish these goals."
The three proposed water system efficiency projects include Boise City Public Works Authority with a $135,000 grant project to save approximately 1.1 million gallons per year; Fort Supply Public Works Authority with a $397,700 grant project to save approximately 3.7 million gallons of water per year; and the Town of Shattuck with a $500,000 grant project to save approximately 12.3 million gallons per year.
The state legislators for the three communities, Sen. Bryce Marlatt, R-Woodward, and Rep. Casey Murdock, R-Felt, praised the infrastructure investment and voiced their support for continued drought management efforts.
“From the passage of the Water for 2060 Act to providing these typesof funding opportunities to encourage more widespread adoption of water efficiency measures, I am committed to helping ensure that the citizens in my district, and all Oklahomans, have access to safe, high-quality water for decades to come,” said Sen. Marlatt.
"These three projects represent sensible investments of public resources as they will provide a definitive and measureable improvement in water use efficiency, water loss reduction and drought resiliency,” said Rep. Murdock. “The citizens in northwest Oklahoma are fully aware of the ongoing impacts of the current drought, but they also know firsthand the benefit of responsible water use.”
Boise City will replace approximately 3,375 feet of water lines that have been experiencing nearly 50 percent water loss due to age and deterioration.
Fort Supply will replace 10,150 feet of water lines composed mainly of cast iron that have been experiencing around 60 percent water loss to age and deterioration. It is estimated the project will cost $556,450, which is being funded with the Water for 2060 Drought grant and $158,750 in Rural Economic Action Program (REAP) grant funds.
Shattuck will replace 12,000 feet of water lines that have been experiencing nearly 60 percent water loss due to age and deterioration. It is estimated the project will cost $607,000, which is being funded with the Water for 2060 Drought grant, $47,000 from the Oklahoma Economic Development Authority, and $60,000 in local funds.
With passage of the Water for 2060 Act in 2012, Oklahoma became the first state to establish a bold, statewide goal of consuming no more fresh water in 2060 than was consumed in 2010 while preserving Oklahoma's population growth and economic development goals. Appointees to the Water for 2060 Advisory Council currently are studying a wide range of innovative conservation measures, incentives and related project financing options to solidify Oklahoma’s water future. The council's report will be finalized and presented to Fallin and state legislative leaders by the end of 2015.
“We are grateful to Governor Fallin, Senator Marlatt and Representative Murdock for their support of continued water and wastewater infrastructure funding, immediate drought relief and long-term water resource planning,” said J.D. Strong OWRB’s executive director.
Since 1983, the OWRB Financial Assistance Program has provided more than $3 billion to Oklahoma communities and water systems for water and wastewater infrastructure projects, saving them more than $1 billion over conventional financing options.
For more information, visit:
Water for 2060 - http://www.owrb.ok.gov/supply/conservation.php
Oklahoma Drought page – http://drought.ok.gov
OWRB Financial Assistance Program - http://www.owrb.ok.gov/financing/index.php