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Water Quality

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Metropolitan Environmental Trust (M.e.t.)









 


WATER QUALITY

There are many reasons why we Oklahomans treasure our excellent water resources: fishing, swimming, boating, water skiing, and high quality drinking water to name a few. EPA and Oklahoma water quality standards protect the various uses of our water resources. These “Beneficial Uses” are defined in the Oklahoma Water Quality Standards. Each beneficial use has its own standards of protection. For example, for fisheries protection (called the Fish and Wildlife Propagation beneficial use) there are numerical and narrative standards that must be attained.

Some waterbodies in Oklahoma deserve a higher level of protection. These include Outstanding Resource Waters (ORW) (e.g., all of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers), High Quality Waters (HQW), specially designated waterbodies listed in Appendix B of the Oklahoma Water Quality Standards, Sensitive Water Supplies (SWS), and Culturally Significant Waters (CSW). For more information on the state’s water quality standards, visit the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) website.

Every two years, the State of Oklahoma submits a biennial report to Congress and the EPA on the condition of Oklahoma’s streams and lakes. This report, called the “Oklahoma Integrated Water Quality Assessment Report”, lists the water quality status for most waterbodies in Oklahoma, including impairment status. The Integrated Report can be found at the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) website. The ODEQ is the primary water quality regulatory and permitting authority for Oklahoma and they work closely with the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) and the Oklahoma Conservation Commission (OCC).

For more information, contact:
Vernon Seaman,
Environmental Planning Manager
918.579.9450     
vseaman@incog.org