Hughes County Rural Water District #6 Honored

Governor Stitt issued a proclamation to Hughes County Rural Water District #6 for their commitment to sustainability in the water industry.

Hughes County Rural Water District #6 was presented with a proclamation from Governor Kevin Stitt on February 23, 2021 for compiling their Long Range Sustainability Plan and for implementing efforts to become more sustainable.

In 2019, Governor Kevin Stitt set forth a vision of an alliance agreement committing the Office of the Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Oklahoma Rural Water Association, and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to work together to improve the sustainability of Oklahoma rural and small community water and wastewater systems. The Oklahoma Strategic Alliance was then created. 

“I firmly believe that the strength of our nation lies in rural water,” Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Environmental Programs Manager, Brandon Bowman said. “The safe, plentiful water that our water districts provide support economic growth, protect public health, and support agriculture.

“That’s why it is critically important to support and promote rural water system’s sustainability,” said Bowman. 

As part of the long range sustainability plan, representatives from ORWA and ODEQ performed various analyses of the system and worked to implement plans that therefore create a living document for the system. Among those analyses were a rate analysis, water audit, leak detection, a hydraulic analysis and an asset management study in order to help ensure the economic sustainability of the system. 

Long Range Sustainability Plan Manager, Randy Clark presented Hughes County Rural Water District #6 with their complete Long Range Sustainability Plan.

“This is not the end of the program,” said Clark. “This is only the beginning. It’s a living document that will grow as Hughes County continues to grow and become more sustainable.”

The Oklahoma Strategic Alliance is proud of the progress that Hughes County Rural Water District #6 has made as they work toward a more sustainable future.

“We are going to be the best we can be,” Hughes County Rural Water District #6, manager and operator, Sheldon Tatum said. “We have the opportunity to grow, advance, lead and then potentially change the world, and the Long Range Sustainability Plan was the first step to ensure our sustainability and ability to serve our customers and families for generations to come.”

Hughes County Rural Water District #6 is poised for a strong future, Bowman said. By conducting a rate study and adjusting rates to support sustainability, the operating ratio was improved. Additionally by improving technical, managerial, and financial capacity, Hughes County RWD #6 improved their capacity assessment score to 92.7 percent, which is in the top 8 percent of all assessed systems in the state.

Since 1992 Oklahoma Water Resources Board has worked with Hughes County RWD #6 to obtain several grants to assist the system with improvements including drilling a water well, system improvements and new water meters and water lines. Currently, OWRB is working to help the water system obtain a grant that will assist in refurbishing a water storage tank.

For more information on the Oklahoma Strategic Alliance or sustainability services visit orwa.org or email okalliance@orwa.org

— Written by JD Rosman

The Oklahoma Strategic Alliance was formed in 2019. Governor Kevin Stitt set forth a vision of an agreement committing the Office of the Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Oklahoma Rural Water Association, and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to work together to improve the sustainability of Oklahoma rural and small community water and wastewater systems. For more information on the Oklahoma Strategic Alliance contact okalliance@orwa.org

 

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