water

StateImpact Oklahoma
10:07 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Mapped: Oklahoma’s Dams And The Potential Hazards They Pose

Explore Oklahoma’s dams with StateImpact’s interactive map detailing their age, type, owner, hazard classification and reported failures.

Oklahoma has the fifth-largest dam inventory in the United States. Ownership of the 4,700 dams is largely split between government agencies and private entities, including individual owners and other organizations like homeowner’s associations.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
8:44 am
Thu December 11, 2014

State Water Regulator Works To Reclassify Risks Of Decades-Old Oklahoma Dams

Families and a fisherman along the spillway beneath Broken Bow Dam in southeastern Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma has nearly 5,000 dams, more than most other states. When they were built, they were classified based on the risk their failure would pose to people and property.

But for many dams, it’s been decades since that risk was evaluated, and the potential hazard has changed because Oklahoma has changed. There are houses, roads and people where there weren’t before.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
5:44 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Oklahoma Outcry Continues Against EPA’s ‘Waters Of The United States’ Rule

Credit la vaca vegetariana / Flickr Creative Commons

Since the federal Clean Water Act first became law in 1972, there’s been confusion over which bodies of water qualify for protection under its provisions. Enter the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the U.S. rule, which means to bring clarity to the situation.

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Weather and Climate
7:12 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Crumbling Infrastructure Causes Fluoride to Fade From Public Water Supplies

Testing water for fluoride.
Credit IndiaWaterPortal.org / Flickr Creative Commons

The anti-fluoride movement is gaining steam in the U.S. And with celebrities like Ed Begley Jr. and Rob Schneider on board, how could it fail? 

But the debate over whether fluoridation benefits communities’ dental health or amounts to the forced medication of the masses isn’t why Oklahoma towns like Lawton, Purcell, and Fairview stopped adding the chemical to their water.

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Health
6:21 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

E. Coli Found In Water System In Delaware County

Credit NIAID / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is advising users of a Delaware County water system to boil water before consuming it after E. coli was found in the water system.

DEQ said Wednesday it's notifying users of the Red Dirt Public Water Supply to inform residents that they should boil water for at least one minute or use bottled water for consumption, food preparation, brushing teeth and washing dishes.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
10:41 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Oklahoma Drought Is The Central Theme Of 2014 Governor's Water Conference

U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla. 2) addresses attendees during the 2014 Governor's Water Conference while U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla. 3) and U.S. Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla. 5) look on.
Credit Congressman Markwayne Mullin / Facebook

The annual Governor’s Water Conference continues Thursday in downtown Oklahoma City.

Wednesday water experts and authorities discussed crop use and what Las Vegas could teach Oklahoma about resource management.

Oklahoma Water Resources Board Executive Director J.D. Strong says the state is learning to adapt to this new – and dry – normal.

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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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StateImpact Oklahoma
9:37 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Drought And Conservation Driving Water Contamination In Duncan

Duncan Public Works Director Scott Vaughn
Logan Layden StateImpact Oklahoma

Duncan’s water supplies are already in bad shape because of the drought. Lake Waurika — Duncan’s main water source — is only about 32 percent full, and city officials are beginning to look toward groundwater as a lake levels continue to drop.

And if it weren’t enough for water supplies to be stretched to their limits, now the water itself is contaminated.

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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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StateImpact Oklahoma
7:46 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Small Oklahoma Town Hunts For More Water As Cleveland Lake Silts In

Cleveland, Oklahoma — population 3,200 — relies on a small reservoir southwest of the city for its water, despite being located on the banks of the Arkansas River.

And a water crisis is brewing there. But the problem can’t be blamed on crumbling pipelines, an obsolete treatment plant, or drought — though more rain is needed. The problem is silt. The Cleveland Reservoir is nearly 80 years old.

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