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water

"Lone Chimney’s plight is an extreme example of the effects of Oklahoma’s severe drought. But the ways residents are adapting could foreshadow what many other Oklahomans will be forced to do, on their own or by mandate, should the three-year-old drought persist."

What's Next for an Oklahoma Lake that Never Filled?

Mar 21, 2013

Even if you build it, water won't necessarily come. For people living in northwest Oklahoma a reservoir intended to bring water to the dry land is now a wildlife refuge.

Schlüsselbein2007 / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says a limit on phosphorus concentrations in the Illinois River in Oklahoma was "unfairly calculated" when it was set a year ago.

So, McDaniel said Wednesday that Arkansas entities will pay for a new $600,000 study to work out a more scientific and reasonable limit.

The Illinois is designated a scenic river in Oklahoma, but officials there say runoff from poultry operations in Arkansas has harmed the water quality in the river, which begins in Arkansas and flows into Oklahoma.

Residents Pay Widely Ranging Rates for Water

Mar 12, 2013

You turn the tap and out comes water, but what does it cost? It's a common resource that is priced in ways that may be surprising.

Duane Smith
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s water infrastructure needs are daunting, and replacing wastewater treatment plants, filtration systems, and pipelines is expensive.

That’s especially for smaller communities with just a few thousand residents to cover millions of dollars in costs.

There is federal and state aid available, but for some, turning to tribal governments is also an option.

lighthouse at Lake Hefner
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

In many ways, the history of Oklahoma is a story of water. Our geography is drawn by rivers and streams. And our cultural legacy is informed by drought.

History, money and consumption have shaped Oklahoma water policy. Here’s a look at the role each part plays in the plan policymakers are writing to protect what former governor and U.S. senator Robert S. Kerr called, the state’s “most blessed resource.”

front-end loader
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Right now, Oklahoma law requires permits for the removal and use of both ground and surface water. But the water removed by the companies during the limestone and sand mining process fell outside of the rules — until now.

Justin Johnston crouching by sludge pump
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The city of Konawa will fix two wells and build new water lines with a state grant issued last week, the Ada News reports:

The grant, from the state’s Rural Economic Action Plan program, will be used to extend the well casing and build an elevated platform for the pumps and controls on two of the town’s nine water wells, and to construct seven-tenths of a mile of water lines, blueprints show.

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