The Oklahoma Water Bank Project

Author(s): Hurt, K.

The Arbuckle Simpson aquifer is located in south central Oklahoma. Although it is a highly productive karst aquifer that provides a crystal clear supply of groundwater to a multitude of springs and streams in the area, it has relatively limited storage. As such, frequent recharge events are necessary to maintain spring flows, base flows in area streams and water levels in area wells. Development of the local area and reliance on groundwater and spring water for municipal supplies has resulted in increased depletion rates during drought periods such as the extreme 2005 –2006 period. However, during 2007, the area experienced multiple flood events that caused millions of dollars of damage to homes, property and businesses.

This back to back occurrence of damaging droughts and floods set the stage for local leaders, scientists and regulators to write legislation supporting the Arbuckle Simpson Water Bank project. The project is designed to divert surface water captured by upstream flood control structures (i.e., NRCS watershed lakes) to the subsurface during flood events. This management approach allows the refilling of aquifers with damaging floodwater that downstream users do not desire. In a sense it turns flood lemons into drought lemonade. The partners on the project include the City of Ada, OK, the Chickasaw Nation, the Oklahoma State Climatologist, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, the Oklahoma State Legislature, the National Weather Center, the National Severe Storms Lab, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, the Bureau of Reclamation, University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. The project was recently selected as the winner of the 2009 Secretary of the Interior’s "Partners in Conservation" award.

This presentation will include information on cutting edge technology used to predict, measure, manage and recharge water, including:

  • Advanced radar systems,
  • Mesonet meteorological stations,
  • Passive filtration systems,
  • Engineered recharge zones,
  • Computer modeling of predicted water supply inventories,
  • Web based information sharing.


Technical Presentations

  • Delta Water Quality
  • Delta Water and Agriculture
  • Wetlands
  • Water Quality
  • Sediments
  • Non-Point
  • Management and Sustainability
  • Wood Treatment
  • Modeling
  • Soil and Water Treatment


Responsible Site Design: Implementing Innovative Stormwater Management Strategies

The primary goal of the workshop is to create a dynamic learning experience that examines the role of stormwater management in the built environment. The workshop will focus on integrating ecologically sound water management approaches into site design. After the workshop, attendees will be familiar with the following concepts and technical issues:

  • Knowledge of the stormwater treatment chain
  • Knowledge of the impact of land use codes on stormwater management
  • Application of a design process that mitigates the effects of stormwater on-site
  • Knowledge of the relationship between land use codes and design for innovative stormwater management


For information contact:
Jessie Schmidt
Box 9680
Mississippi State, MS 39762