A systematic and comprehensive planning process was employed to develop the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer DCP. With an emphasis on stakeholder involvement, an experienced Planning Team (the existing Choctaw/Chickasaw Regional Water Planning Team) facilitated comprehensive input from dozens of municipal, agricultural, mining, energy, environmental and recreational interests through both public meetings and individual discussions.

Goals for the DCP are to

1) Prepare for and mitigate the impacts of drought episodes that preclude the optimum use and economic benefits of the Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer, and

2) Implement proactive strategies to ensure the long-term sustainability of the aquifer. Major components of the DCP include Sector Vulnerabilities (water use, economic consideration, infrastructure), Regional Climate Variability Assessment, Drought Monitoring System (recommended triggers/phases), Drought Mitigation/Response Strategies, and Implementation Schedule (near-, mid-, long-term actions).

Drought Triggers and Stages


Five hydrologic factors (lake level, aquifer level, spring flow, river flow, and PDSI) will be used by the Task Force to establish Response Action trigger points for DCP water use sectors. Specific trigger thresholds, which will be revisited annually by the Task Force as it considers any required updates of the DCP, were agreed upon through consensus. They are:


To avoid situations where drought stages are triggered, only to be lifted a few days later, the thresholds described above should be based on the average of the previous month of data. Decisions on whether to implement or lift drought stages should also be made on a monthly basis.

At the December 9, 2016 Stakeholder meeting, the DCP Task Force and Stakeholders agreed that the three following stages of drought will be utilized to trigger Response Actions:

  • Drought Stage 1 (Alert)—Any one of the five thresholds is reached

  • Drought Stage 2 (Warning)—All five of the thresholds are reached

  • Local Drought Stage 3 (Emergency)—Dictated by local conditions


A real-time look at the drought status report

For the recommended Response Actions for Water Use Sectors to appropriately respond to each Drought Stage, please return to the final report link above and view the chart on pages 55-56 of the document.