Friday, October 23, 2015
OKLAHOMA CITY – In the wake of Oklahoma’s worst drought in decades, Governor Mary Fallin today praised Oklahoma's Water for 2060 Advisory Council for its diligent work to develop a blueprint for drought-proofing Oklahoma.
The advisory council’s final report will help in achieving the statewide goal of consuming no more fresh water in 2060 than was consumed in 2012. The advisory council was charged with studying and recommending appropriate water conservation practices, incentives and educational programs to improve efficiency of statewide water usage while preserving Oklahoma’s population growth and economic development goals.
"I am pleased to receive the advisory council’s final report and recommendations for encouraging prudent water use measures across all of Oklahoma’s major water use sectors,” said Fallin. “Oklahoma is truly unique in setting such an ambitious goal for water efficiency, conservation, recycling and reuse. I look forward to reviewing the recommendations put forward to determine our next steps in ensuring that all Oklahomans have access to fresh water resources for decades to come, while at the same time promoting continued economic development and improved quality of life in our state.”
The report includes 12 key recommendations that are the product of interactive dialogue with water users across Oklahoma and collaborative discussions to determine approaches that can effectively promote water efficiency efforts by all Oklahomans. The advisory council based its recommendations on best practices in use in Oklahoma and incentive programs in place in other states. The information was supplemented with an analysis of data from the 2012 Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan and estimates of the cost-effectiveness of various measures for enhancing water use efficiency and the use of alternative sources of supply.
In addition to its sector-specific recommendations, the report suggests development of public education and outreach materials, a statewide water conservation campaign, and an Oklahoma water efficiency portal as collaborative efforts to help the state achieve its goals.
"I am encouraged by the advisory council's analysis that it is indeed possible to achieve the Water for 2060 goal through increased conservation and the use of non-traditional sources to offset future growth in demand,” Fallin said. “However, there is no doubt that it will take each and every one of us working together to become the nation's most water-efficient state.”
"To meet the ultimate goal of Water for 2060 will require effort and participation from all water users, whether changing our daily behaviors and decisions at home to new innovations and practices for crop irrigation, energy production and industry,” said J.D. Strong, Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) executive director and Water for 2060 advisory council chairman. “We must never forget that water conservation will be key to meeting Oklahoma’s long-term water needs because it remains the cheapest and quickest way to preserve Oklahoma's water resources for future generations.”
Advisory council members were chosen for their expertise in the areas of municipal, rural, agricultural, industrial, oil and gas, and recreational water uses, as well as water efficiency, water reuse, and marginal and brackish water use practices and technologies. The advisory council's work was supported by a partnership between the OWRB and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
More information on the Water for 2060 initiative, including its final report and a full list of members, can be found here.