Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Legislative News

April 23, 2008

Paddack, Hilliard water bill inked into law

OKLAHOMA CITY—Appropriately timed to coincide with the celebration of Earth Day, a bill by state Sen. Susan Paddack and state Rep. Wes Hilliard designed to enhance the future of the state’s water supply has been signed into law by Governor Brad Henry.

Senate Bill 1410 passed both the Senate and the House with overwhelmingly bi-partisan support and is amongst the first bills signed into law this legislative session.

“Ensuring future generations of Oklahomans will have the water supply they need to thrive is one of the greatest messages we can send that we are acting responsibly with the natural resources we are blessed to have in this state,” Paddack said.

Paddack said anyone who has lived in Oklahoma for more than a few weeks understands the complex nature of the weather and its effect on the environment in Oklahoma.

In 2006, Oklahomans suffered through one of the driest years on record with many communities running short on water.

However in 2007, Oklahoma experienced one of the wettest years on record and parts of the state endured prolonged flooding.

Paddack explained provisions of SB 1410 allows the Oklahoma Water Resource Board (OWRB) to conduct pilot studies to answer tough questions about using flood waters to offset droughts by creating management strategies for mitigating floods and recharge aquifers at the same time.

“Clearly the future of this state depends solely on our ability to manage the infrastructure needs of our state, including our state’s water supply,” Paddack said.

“We must aggressively protect our state’s water resources and this bill goes a long way to helping us achieve those goals.”

Hilliard said the bill also directs the Water Resource Board to establish a technical work group to recommend demonstration projects and criteria to prioritize other projects designed to recharge various types of aquifers located in this state.

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