water quality

Schlüsselbein2007 / Flickr (Creative Commons)

The Environmental Protection Agency says Oklahoma ranks second in the nation for reducing harmful nutrients from streams and rivers.

It's the fifth year in a row that Oklahoma has ranked in the top 10 among states in reported non-point source nutrient reductions.

Joshua Landis provides an update on the ongoing removal of chemical weapons in Syria, and Rebecca Cruise examines the recent executions of high-level government officials in North Korea, and what they could mean. 

Later, a conversation with a trio of scientists and engineers about how three very different developing countries share many of the same sanitation and hygiene concerns.

Rod Waddington / Flickr Creative Commons

Despite radically different cultures, climate, geography, and levels of government involvement in improving the lives of its citizens, Ethiopia, India, and China all face similar water issues.

KGOU’s World Views host and the Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies Suzette Grillot recently gathered three engineers together for a conversation about water, sanitation, and hygiene concerns in their respective countries of expertise.

Retired Col. Michael Teague, Secretary of Energy and Environment, stands in front of a dam at Lake Eufaula.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Traditionally, Oklahoma’s governor has relied on advice from separate officials representing energy and the environment.

But in July, Gov. Mary Fallin moved to combine the two offices into one. “Strong energy policy is strong environmental policy,” Fallin said in a statement accompanying an executive order creating the new Secretary of Energy and Environment cabinet secretary post.

GRDA

The Department of Environmental Quality is urging Oklahomans to be wary of microorganisms when swimming or boating on the state's untreated lakes and streams during the long Labor Day weekend.

DEQ says certain kinds of bacteria, viruses and protozoa can occur naturally in waterways while others are carried from a variety of sources. Some can cause mild problems such as ear infections, swimmer's itch and gastrointestinal disorders. Others can cause rare but serious conditions such as eye infections and some forms of meningitis.

Algae blooms are green or red or brown, slimy, smelly and you don't want it coming soon to a waterfront near you.

Most of us don't give a lot of thought to algae until the furry-like monstrosity is spreading over beaches, rivers, lakes and bays, but gigantic algae blooms have become an increasing problem around the world.

The danger algae blooms pose is that they sap the body of water where they are growing of nutrients and oxygen; they then die, decompose and rot.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A summer fish kill in north-central Oklahoma is worrying anglers, river-goers and nearby water users.

The Salt Fork River die-off was massive and, still months after it was reported, mysterious. Researchers and state authorities say they still don’t know who or what the killer is.

Two fish kills were reported to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, records show. The first one on June 3, upstream near Lamont; the second on June 17, near Tonkawa. The two fish kills are likely related, so state authorities are investigating them as one event, officials from the DEQ, state Department of Wildlife Conservation and Corporation Commission tell StateImpact.

“In the areas that overlapped during the kills, there is absolutely zero aquatic life other than turtles,” says Spencer Grace, a state game warden stationed in Kay County.

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.