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The Oka' Institute strongly believes in advocating for sustainable water policy. One of the reasons why sustainable water policy is so crucial is because water is a finite resource. It is now more important than ever to ensure that we use water wisely and efficiently.

We strive to work with tribes, policymakers, stakeholders, and communities to find creative, science-based solutions that safeguard our valuable water resources for future generations. 

Ocean Water

Senate Bill 288

The Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer plays a critical role in providing clean drinking water to many cities in Oklahoma. However, with the population on the rise, the demand for water is increasing rapidly, putting significant pressure on the ecosystem. Landowners, Stakeholders, and the Tribes formed a Stakeholder Committee to educate the Oklahoma Senate on the importance of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer.

The Oklahoma Senate recognized the need to address this issue and passed Senate Bill 288 in May 2003. This bill placed a moratorium on the issuance of temporary groundwater permits for municipal or public water supply use, ensuring that any new proposals would not harm the aquifer's springs or streams.

This legislation has set a new standard for permit approval processes, ensuring that any proposed use of the aquifer is thoroughly evaluated for its potential impact on the environment. As a result, Oklahoma can continue to grow without sacrificing the integrity of the water source that sustains it.

In addition to Senate Bill 288, there are ongoing efforts to promote sustainable water use and conservation in the region. These initiatives include education programs for residents and businesses, water-efficient technologies, and incentives for reducing water consumption.

By working together to protect this critical resource, we can ensure a sustainable future for both the community and the environment.


Integrated water resource management is the practice of managing water resources in a holistic and comprehensive way. It involves considering all aspects of the water cycle, including surface and groundwater, water quality, ecosystems, and social and economic factors. The goal is to ensure the sustainable use of water resources while balancing competing demands and protecting the environment. This approach requires cooperation and coordination among different stakeholders, such as government agencies, communities, and industries, and the use of science-based decision-making processes. By implementing integrated water resource management in policy decisions, we can ensure that water resources are used efficiently and effectively, and that they are available for future generations. Integrated water resource management is an essential practice that is gaining more attention as the world faces increasing water scarcity and demand. By looking at the water cycle holistically, this approach can help identify and address water-related issues at their source. Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Integrated water resource management can help prevent conflicts over water use by involving all stakeholders in the decision-making process. This can lead to more equitable and sustainable outcomes.

  • Effective implementation of integrated water resource management requires a thorough understanding of the hydrological cycle, water quality, and the ecological and social needs of the region. This calls for the use of science-based approaches to support decision-making.

  • With the increasing pressure on water resources, it is crucial to prioritize the sustainable use of water. Integrated water resource management can help ensure that water is used wisely, and wastage is minimized.

  • Finally, integrated water resource management can promote the conservation of water resources, which is essential for the environment and future generations. By protecting water sources, we can maintain healthy ecosystems and secure water supplies for the long term.

Integrated Water Resource Management

International Short Course on Integrated
Water Resource Management and Food Security

The Pi Institute at JOOUST, JOOUST, the Oka’ Institute at East Central University, and the Water Resource Policy and Management Master’s Degree at East Central University have come together to strengthen their partnership.
This partnership began in 2018 with the First International Short Course in Bondo, followed by the Second International Short Course at ECU in 2019. Most recently, JOOUST Vice Chancellor Dr. Stephen Agong visited ECU to deliver the Watkins Lecture in the spring of 2022 and the Third International Short Course was hosted in Bondo.
ECU and JOOUST plan to collaborate on multiple platforms, including writing grants for a shared research agenda involving the Oka Institute and the Global Pi Institute, with the aim of providing global collaboration on water resources in the US and Kenya.

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