Federal Money Flows to Oklahoma for Water Infrastructure Fixes
Over the past week, Oklahoma has secured more than $37 million in federal funding for dam improvements across the state and for water system repairs in communities with aging pipes and treatment plants.
First, on July 18, the federal government announced a national dam assessment and repair program made possible by an “almost 21 fold” increase in funding for watershed rehabilitation under the 2014 Farm Bill. $26.4 million will go to Oklahoma.
From The Oklahoman‘s Rick Green:
Federal and state officials gathered Friday at one such structure, a dam on Perry Lake, to announce $262 million in funding under the 2014 Farm Bill to rehabilitate or assess the condition of hundreds of dams across the nation, including $26.4 million for Oklahoma projects. The idea is to make sure these dams, many built more than a half-century ago, are safe and in good condition for the future.
Then, on July 21, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board received an $11.3 million grant for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which, as StateImpact has reported, is a federal program administered by states to help water districts secure loans for expensive upgrades to water and sewer systems.
From The Journal Record:
“These revolving loan funds are some of the most effective tools we have for helping communities of all sizes achieve their clean-water goals,” said Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “The money will go toward a variety of projects to help ensure all Oklahomans receive the clean, reliable water they deserve.”
Loan recipients in Oklahoma will use the money for projects such as replacing sewer lines, improving wastewater treatment facilities, and upgrading collection systems.
The 2012 Update of Oklahoma’s Comprehensive Water Plan predicts tens of billions of dollars will be needed for water and wastewater projects over the next 50 years.