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Oklahoma State Senate
Senator Susan Paddack
Senate District 13
Democratic Whip
Coal, Garvin , Hughes & Pontotoc Counties

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For Immediate Release: April 22, 2008

Sen. Susan Paddack
Sen. Susan Paddack

Paddack, Hilliard Team up on Water Issue
SB 1410 Signed into Law on Earth Day

Appropriately timed to coincide with the celebration of Earth Day, a bill by State Senator Susan Paddack and State Rep. Wes Hilliard that enhances the future of the state’s water supply has been signed into law by Governor Brad Henry. Senate Bill 1410 passed both the Senate and the House with overwhelmingly bi-partisan support and is amongst the first bills signed into law this legislative session.

“Ensuring future generations of Oklahomans will have the water supply they need to thrive is one of the greatest messages we can send that we are acting responsibly with the natural resources we are blessed to have in this state,” Paddack said.

Paddack said anyone who has lived in Oklahoma for more than a few weeks understands the complex nature of the weather and its effect on the environment in Oklahoma. In 2006, Oklahomans suffered through one of the driest years on record with many communities running short on water. However in 2007, Oklahoma experienced one of the wettest years on record and parts of the state endured prolonged flooding.

Paddack explained provisions of SB 1410 allows the Oklahoma Water Resource Board (OWRB) to conduct pilot studies to answer tough questions about using flood waters to offset droughts by creating management strategies for mitigating floods and recharge aquifers at the same time.

“Clearly the future of this state depends solely on our ability to manage the infrastructure needs of our state, including our state’s water supply,” Paddack said. “We must aggressively protect our state’s water resources and this bill goes a long way to helping us achieve those goals.”

Hilliard said the bill also directs the Water Resource Board to establish a technical work group to recommend demonstration projects and criteria to prioritize other projects designed to recharge various types of aquifers located in this state. Hilliard said given the complex nature of the issue of water use, the bill directs the OWRB to include all appropriate state agencies, including the Oklahoma State Climatologist, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and the Oklahoma Conservation Commission to ensure the pilot projects created through SB 1410 are conducted in a way that is protective of Oklahoma’s water resources, the environment and the rights and needs of downstream users.

“I am extremely proud we were able to garner bi-partisan support for this very important measure,” Hilliard said. “Protecting our state’s water supply is an issue about which we should all be concerned and an issue we should work together to achieve. The work on this bill is a direct result of all legislators coming together to do what is right for the future of our state.

For more information contact:
Senator Paddack's Office:  (405) 521-5541

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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