Governor Stitt Endorses Inter-Agency Alliance Designed to Improve Oklahoma's Rural Water ResourcesTue, 03 Sep 2019 13:09:10 CDT
Governor Kevin Stitt signed an agreement Tuesday formalizing a strategic alliance between the Oklahoma State Secretary of Energy and Environment, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Oklahoma Water Resources Board and the Oklahoma Rural Water Association. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn caught up with Governor Stitt to talk about this historic agreement and the impact it will have in Oklahoma's rural communities. You can listen to Horn's complete conversation with Stitt, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
"A lot of infrastructure has really aged and it's time that we reinvest, and rural Oklahoma is so important to me," Stitt remarked. "Clean water is the starting point for good infrastructure, quality of life and more economic development. We have to think about upgrading that infrastructure because until we do that, we're not going to get jobs or companies moving or expanding there. So, it's exciting for me to be able to sign that and promote rural Oklahoma."
The alliance agreement commits the organizations to work together and combine their resources to help meet the missions of the organizations and to improve the sustainability of Oklahoma rural and small community water and wastewater systems.
"Due to Governor Stitt's vision and the legislative leadership's willingness to commit to improving Oklahoma and to invest in infrastructure for all of Oklahoma, this is a positive step into bringing Oklahoma into a top ten in the nation on providing long range value for our citizens through water and wastewater services," stated James Gammill, Oklahoma Rural Water Association CEO. "It will help to elevate the rural water and wastewater systems of Oklahoma to a best in class business model."
According to the ORWA, upwards of 25-30 percent of Oklahoma's groundwater is leaked by aged infrastructure that in some cases are decades old. The agreement signed today will begin the process of updating that infrastructure and equip local stakeholders with the tools and skills they need to keep Oklahoma's watershed infrastructure sustainable into the future.
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