Oklahoma approves new rules to replenish aquifers

Mar 8, 2017

Mill Creek, southwest of Ada's Byrd's Mill Creek in south-central Oklahoma, also originates from the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma is looking to store water underground, in hopes of staving off future catastrophe.

As StateImpact reports, the state’s Water Resources Board last week approved a plan to allow water to be stored in underground aquifers. Aquifer storage and recovery is already being put to use in other states. In fact, one of the state’s chief engineers joked that the Sooner State was a bit behind the curve with the new rules.

“Our motto is to boldly go where Kansas, Texas, Arizona, and California, and half a dozen other states have already gone before,” said Saba Tahmassebi of the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

Aquifer recovery involves injecting water from other sources into underground reservoirs. But in the past, Oklahoma has not had regulations to allow the process to take place. The next step is to insure the injected water is free of contaminants.