News Feature | June 16, 2014

Oklahoma Approves Water Reuse Law

By Sara Jerome
@sarmje

oklahomareg

Oklahoma recently passed legislation to promote water reuse projects within the state.

"Legislation that will encourage water districts and municipalities to expand the state’s supply of water through reuse and conservation has been signed by the governor," according to a release from Sen. Rob Standridge, who wrote the bill. 

Senate Bill 1187 "would require state agencies to create a permitting process for [water reuse] projects," the Journal Record reported

"The Department of Environmental Quality shall receive, review, and evaluate permit applications for discharges to water bodies for water reuse projects. The Department shall approve such applications as comply with the applicable rules of the Environmental Quality Board for discharges to the waters of the State," the legislation says. 

Standridge said in a statement that water infrastructure has a vital link to the state's economy. 

“To broaden our supply of safe, local water, municipalities, and water districts need to be able to take advantage of proven technologies for conservation and reuse. This legislation will facilitate projects that can help us secure our water needs well into the future," he said. 

Norman is one Oklahoma city faced with a dwindling water supply. Officials there say water reuse could help secure water resources in the future.  

"Norman’s water problems are well documented. From [low] supplies at Lake Thunderbird — the city’s deeply troubled main source of water — to an overstressed and aging water treatment plant. Not to mention the outcry over the use of drinking water to drill an oil well with the public under mandatory conservation rules," NPR reported

Locals seem to support water reuse. An editorial in the Norman Transcript said recently. "Norman voters recently approved improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment plant that will hasten water reuse. Supporters say the treated water that is now discharged into the Canadian River could safely be pumped back into Lake Thunderbird."  

Check out Water Online Water Reuse Solution Center.

Image credit: "Abandoned," fireboat895 © 2010, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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