OKLAHOMA CITY (Oct. 10, 2022) – Last month marked the three-year anniversary of the signing and ratification of the Oklahoma Strategic Alliance Agreement, the progeny of a public-private collaboration to strategically position Oklahoma’s small and rural water systems for a sustainable future.
Spearheaded by the Oklahoma Rural Water Association (ORWA), the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) and ratified by Gov. Kevin Stitt, the Alliance has helped over 163 water and wastewater systems across Oklahoma to ensure the delivery of safe, consistent and affordable services.
“The Agreement is not just a symbol of the commitment between these three entities to work collectively to achieve success for the small and rural communities in our state – it is a living testament of it,” said Governor Stitt.
The founders of Oklahoma’s rural water systems knew without water, there was no future – no town, no people, no jobs. As that initial infrastructure has aged over the last half a century, water is lost to inefficiencies, causing cost to increase and supplies to decrease.
“The Alliance is key to saving Oklahoma’s small and rural water systems and communities because of its free and voluntary program to help communities identify water loss and fix it, saving valuable water resources and conserving dollars,” said Jimmy Seago, ORWA CEO.
It is cultivating a true environmentally-friendly program.
“I have always believed more can be accomplished by fostering relationships to solve critical problems. DEQ is proud to be part of this Alliance, which helps fulfill our mission of making Oklahoma an even better place to live,” said DEQ Executive Director Scott Thompson.
Together, the Alliance is finding solutions to the state’s future water supply and quality challenges.
“OWRB’s financial programs play an integral role in this, providing over $414 million in loans and grants to these communities – building the infrastructure for economic development and a higher quality of life,” said Julie Cunningham, OWRB executive director.
To learn more about the Oklahoma Strategic Alliance and how your community can benefit from it, visit orwa.org/strategic-alliance.
ORWA works to enhance the quality of life in rural Oklahoma, through the development and delivery of water and wastewater services for the benefit of ORWA members and the rural people they serve.