To improve Oklahoma’s aging water system, the state legislature allocated more than $440 million to water infrastructure projects last week. The funding came from the nearly $2 billion in American Rescue Plan Act money received by the state.
The Oklahoma Water Resources Board receives $100 milion which will be used to help smaller water agencies and repair dams. The legislature also allocated $130.5 million for upcoming water projects.
As reported by Kosu, the projects include:
The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority requested $30 million in ARPA funds for improvements to the water and internet infrastructure for Burns Flat and its spaceport. The legislature voted to approve $4.25 million.
The Tulsa Port Authority wants to develop a second port and industrial park in Inola. The Port Authority requested nearly $36 million to improve water infrastructure for both the town of Inola and its potential port. The legislature approved $14 million in ARPA funds for the project.
The city and the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity requested just over $57 million to fund upgrades for the water infrastructure that serves that area in anticipation of future growth. The legislature voted to approve $50 million for this project.
Oklahoma City has been working to develop its Innovation District. The legislature voted to approve $8 million of the city’s $50 million request to upgrade that infrastructure.
Oklahoma City also applied for funds to move a pipe that carries water from Lake Thunderbird to Del City. The legislature approved the city’s full request for $35 million to relocate the pipe.
The legislature approved $17.1 million for water projects in Ardmore. A legislative press release indicated that those funds were for water infrastructure to serve the city and the Ardmore Industrial Airpark, but the bill’s language doesn’t make it clear which application received those funds.
Only one of the selected water projects doesn’t seem to be tied to projected economic growth. It’s an effort to prevent water loss from Lake Altus-Lugert. The legislature approved the Lugert-Altus Irrigation District’s request for $25 million to fix those leaks.