Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

How Oklahoma’s Credit Rating Affects Your Tap Water

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

New construction surrounds the rusting remnants of Broken Arrow's old water treatment plant.

Building new water systems is expensive, so Oklahoma has a program to help communities pay for these projects.

Here’s how it works: Cities and towns apply for a low-interest loan through the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. The state has a better credit rating than most cities do. So going through the state gets them a better deal on a loan.

The program has been around since 1985, securing more than $2 billion for water projects across the state. But there was a problem. The state only has so much credit, and a Broken Arrow’s project pushed it to the limit.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership among Oklahoma’s public radio stations and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.


About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »