drought

Weather and Climate
8:34 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Study Will Develop Plan For Drought Stricken Southwest Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board on Tuesday unanimously approved the terms of a plan to further study the Upper Red River Basin as part of the Water SMART Basin Studies Program.

The study, which has an estimated cost of approximately $1.4 million, will help Oklahoma’s southwest corner find ways to best conserve and manage the water they draw from the Upper Red River Basin. Southwest Oklahoma, Planning and Management Division Chief Julie Cunningham said, has been the region most affected by recent drought conditions in the state.

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Weather and Climate
7:10 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

As Beef Industry Deals With Drought, Researchers Eye Less-Thirsty Cattle

Credit SoonerPA / Flickr Creative Commons

The ongoing drought in Oklahoma affects everyone in the country. Well, everyone who likes to eat beef, that is. Beef and veal prices will have risen by about 11.5 percent in 2014, and, as Reuters reports, “will increase significantly again in 2015″ because of drought in the Southern Plains.

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Small Business Administration
4:12 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Jan. 14 Deadline To Apply For Drought Disaster Loans

Credit Al Jazeera English / Flickr.com

Small businesses in 12 Oklahoma counties and two counties in Kansas have one month left to apply for U.S. Small Business Administration drought disaster loans.

Tanya N. Garfield, director of the SBA program, says businesses have until Jan. 14 to seek a federal disaster loan for economic injury.

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Weather and Climate
7:09 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Waurika Lake Levels Continuing To Drop

Waurika Lake.
Credit Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department

The board that oversees the water distribution of Waurika Lake says drought conditions continue to affect the lake, which is used as a water source in southwest Oklahoma.

Waurika Lake Master Conservancy District Director David Taylor says the Waurika Lake watershed has received just 14.7 inches of rain this year. According to the Lawton Constitution, Taylor estimates that the lake has enough usable water to last until March 2016.

Taylor says rehabilitation and maintenance work to the lake could increase that time to January 2017.

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Politics and Government
7:25 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

House Members Presented Water Alternatives: New Infrastructure And Conservation

Atoka Lake.
Credit Pennie Embrey / Oklahomans for Responsible Water Policy

Members of the House Utility and Environmental Regulation Committee heard outlines Tuesday of different ways to address Oklahoma’s water needs.

Oklahoma Water Resource Board Executive Director J.D. Strong and Deputy Secretary of Environment Tyler Howell suggested a broadly based approach, while former OWRB Executive Director and Environmental Federation of Oklahoma President Jim Barnett told committee members greater infrastructure spending should be considered, but not at the exclusion of other ideas such as conservation and reuse.

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Weather and Climate
8:00 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Skiatook Lake More Than 15 Feet Below Normal

Tall Chief Cove at Skiatook Lake in 2009, before the drought.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A lake in northeastern Oklahoma has dipped to its shallowest level since its impoundment 30 years ago.

Sara Goodeyon of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tells the Tulsa World that Skiatook Lake had a level of about 698 feet on Friday. Despite recent rains, it's more than 15 feet below normal. The last time it was above the normal level of 714 feet was more than four years ago.

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Politics and Government
7:33 am
Sat October 4, 2014

Farmers Call On USDA To Implement Farm Bill Fix

Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma wheat growers are calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement a Farm Bill provision they say would address the ongoing drought that's plagued the state and others for the past several years.

The new provision allows farmers to maintain enough crop insurance to cover expected production in exchange for paying a higher premium to cover any additional liability. The provision will change how farmers make the estimate of their expected production.

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Business Intelligence Report
6:35 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Lingering Drought, Low Wheat Yields Could Cause Higher Beef Prices

Cattle at the Oklahoma City Stockyards.
Brent Fuchs The Journal Record

On Wednesday Associate State Climatologist Gary McManus released figures showing it's been a dry September. Oklahoma only averaged 2.6 inches of rainfall, which is roughly 33 percent below normal.

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Weather and Climate
8:31 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Dry September Diminishes Drought Recovery

After four years of drought, municipal water storage in in Altus-Lugert lake has dropped to about 10 percent.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A drier than normal September has diminished drought recovery in Oklahoma, and weather experts say the dry pattern will continue through October.

Preliminary figures from the Oklahoma Mesonet show the statewide average rainfall total was 2.6 inches — 1.3 inches below normal and the 46th driest September since record-keeping began in 1895.

August and September combined for a statewide average of 3.9 inches — 2.6 inches below normal and the 22nd driest August-September period on record.

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Science, Technology and Environment
4:34 pm
Sat September 27, 2014

Oklahoma Can Learn From Developing World Practices

After four years of drought, municipal water storage in in Altus-Lugert lake has dropped to about 10 percent.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

An environmental researcher says Oklahoma could benefit by learning how developing countries address water security issues as demand grows and scientists warn of drier years ahead.

The Oklahoman reports that Jim Chamberlain, staff researcher at the University of Oklahoma's Water Technologies for Emerging Regions Center, spoke Friday at the center's annual Water Symposium.

Chamberlain says the water situation in Oklahoma has more in common with that in the developing world than might be obvious.

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