Is Reusing Wastewater a Cure for Oklahoma’s Water Woes?
The multi-year drought gripping Oklahoma has intensified concerns over the declining water supply in various regions throughout the state. According to the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan, the state’s projected demand for water will increase by 28 percent in less than 50 years. Many cities have implemented mandatory water conservation measures and, in 2012, the state legislature adopted the Water for 2060 Act that establishes a statewide goal of consuming no more water in the year 2060 than is consumed now. But are conservation measures enough to shore up the dwindling water supply?
Some Oklahoma lawmakers believe that a potential answer to our state’s water problems could lie in the reuse of treated wastewater. State Representatives Scott Martin and Rob Standridge have introduced SB 1187 that would direct the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and the Department of Environmental Quality to facilitate the development of water reuse projects through the agencies’ permitting processes. The legislation has passed the Senate floor in its final format and is moving on to the House. Read more in a recent article from StateImpact Oklahoma.