Basin 51 is a “hot spot” in water resources terminology. This watershed basin includes the area between Yukon and Watonga and is in the crosshairs for water shortage.
As part of the Comprehensive Water Plan passed in 2012, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board has begun to study the twelve “hot spot” basins where water shortages are likely to happen in the next decade. Basin 51 is part of the initial in-depth studies needed as this process moves forward.
Basin 51, which stretches between Yukon and Watonga, will be assessed to determine the effectiveness of using marginal quality water to alleviate future water supply shortages. Marginal quality water sources include recycled municipal supplies, stormwater, oil and gas flowback or produced water, brackish water, and waters with elevated levels of key constituents. Basin 51 shows a high potential for use of marginal quality water to address very specific and targeted future water needs.
Public meetings were held in the hot spot basins last spring to help the Water for 2060 Advisory Council gather input from local stakeholders. “We had strong attendance at each of our ’Hot Spot’ public meetings earlier this spring, and that has assisted the Advisory Council in its mission,” remarked J.D. Strong, OWRB Executive Director. “The public meetings brought together agriculture producers, water providers, and interested citizens residing in the state’s twelve hot spot planning basins.”
“As we witness the impacts that long-term drought can have on fresh water supplies for many Oklahoma communities, the Water for 2060 Advisory Council’s work continues to grow in importance,” added Strong. “I look forward to each of these three in-depth studies, and I hope to see continued participation from water users and stakeholders in each of these three Hot Spot basins.”