A 2017 law would make it possible for the city of Ada and the Oka’ Institute to collaborate on a project designed to boost the water supply in the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer, the institute’s executive director told the Ada City Council on Tuesday.
House Bill 1485 allows the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality to issue permits for limited-scale pilot projects for aquifer storage and recovery, executive director Susan Paddack said. She said the law would put the city in a position to continue working with the Oka’ Institute on efforts to recharge the aquifer.
“With that legislation, do you know what that means for Ada?” she said. “That means that Ada is number one in the state. They are the only city that has gone through and started the process with DEQ and OWRB (the Oklahoma Water Resources Board) to do limited-scale aquifer recharge. I’m hoping you’re just proud as punch about that. That’s huge.”
Paddack delivered the annual report of the Oka’ Institute, a program at East Central University that explores ways to bring together sustainable water management and economic development. The city and the Chickasaw Nation are providing financial support for the program, which was launched with the help of seed money from the Science and Natural Resources Foundation.