Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

What Happens When Oklahoma Water Systems Drown

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Osage County Rural Water District No. 9's water tower just outside Barnsdall, Okla.

Oklahoma faces an estimated $43 billion in much needed repairs and upgrades to aging water systems across the state.

“A lot of things were sort of overbuilt to meet long-term water needs,” says the Water Resources Board’s Executive Director J.D. Strong.

Ratepayers in small towns and rural water districts are hit the hardest when new pipelines and treatment plants have to be built.

There is help in the form of grants and low-interest loans, but sometimes even that isn’t enough and another, often final option comes into play: Consolidation, merging two or more water systems into one.

It’s meant keep rates in check for customers, but the idea usually isn’t greeted warmly. Even so, consolidation is expected to become more and more common.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jeanineridener Jeany Somers Ridener

    yikes. water is gold.

  • Rosie Weger

    RWD #2 is so far in the hole that they will never be able to pay their way out. But hey they can hire 2 Attorneys with one female attorney that CAN NOT DO HER JOB but we will still pay her. If we could not do our job we all know that we would be fired in a heart beat. But we take loans after loans and make people would can hardly pay their bills pay an extra $10.00 per month with no choose. What a bunch of ……. well we all know what

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