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The Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer is a vital source of water for the southern Great Plains region, providing water for agricultural, municipal, industrial, and environmental purposes. The recent Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer (ASA) stakeholder field trip was a great opportunity to showcase the successful collaboration between different stakeholders in managing this valuable resource. This fieldtrip included site visits to the Millcreek Stream gage, Johnston County Groundwater Well, and Byrd's Mill Springs.

During the field trip, ASA stakeholders were able to see firsthand the efforts being made to conserve and protect the aquifer. They were also able to learn about the different challenges faced by the stakeholders involved in managing the aquifer, such as balancing the needs of different water users and addressing water quality concerns. The field trip not only highlighted the importance of collaboration between stakeholders but also showcased the innovative solutions being implemented to address the challenges faced by the aquifer's management.

The field trip's success in promoting collaboration and awareness about the importance of integrated water resource management has paved the way for further initiatives to ensure the sustainable use of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer. This event demonstrated how stakeholders with different interests can come together to ensure the sustainability of our water resources for future generations.

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The Oka Institute at East Central University is currently calling a Request for Qualifications for a GIS Specialist to develop an online geospatial viewer and decision-support tool. This tool's main goal is to improve data visualization and analysis, engage stakeholders, and provide valuable information and data about the Upper Red River watershed, which includes Lake Texoma. The Lake Texoma Watershed Project is a collaborative effort aimed at addressing water quality concerns across the watershed that impact the quality of water at Lake Texoma directly and indirectly. Additionally, the project's outreach and education component is designed to help stakeholders in the region better understand the watershed. Stakeholders can use the geospatial data tool/viewer to access essential information, data, and analysis on demographics, economics, land use, ecology, water supply, water usage, policy, and other critical information, which will assist them in navigating the watershed's complexities.

This RFQ is due by May 31st, 2023.

For additional information regarding this project, please click on the link below.

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The Oka’ Institute at East Central University staff attended Water Appreciation Day at the Capitol on March 30th. The staff including Executive Director, Duane Smith had a wonderful time educating legislators and the public about current projects and the Water Resources Policy and Management Master’s program.

The second-floor rotunda was a buzz of partnership, innovation and education. Attendees were afforded the opportunity to visit with leaders across the many agencies that support water sustainability.

Water Appreciation Day has been celebrated in Oklahoma for almost two decades. This event celebrates Oklahoma’s diverse water sources and educates the public and our state’s leaders on the importance of water research, management, and conservation. We would like to extend our gratitude to the Oklahoma Water Resources Board for the invitation. Participants included state, local, and federal government agencies, academic groups, and environmental groups. Events such as these allow us the opportunity to further our mission focusing on practical water solutions by building sustainable communities, promoting environmental benefits through land stewardship, seeking balanced water policy, and innovating in science-based water research.

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