Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: March 22, 2011
Sen. Kim David
Bill allowing rural water districts
to use GRDA controlled water awaits House consideration
Rural Water Districts would no longer have to pay to use water
controlled by the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) under legislation
unanimously approved recently in the Senate. Sen. Kim
David, author of Senate Bill 248, said the legislation has been
needed for some time to even the playing field between the Rural
Water Districts and local municipalities.
“Certain municipalities have already been allowed to take
water from the Grand River for free so it only seems right that
all municipalities and Oklahoma Rural Water Districts receive equal
treatment,” said David, R-Wagoner.
SB 248 would allow Rural Water Districts to take “raw”
or untreated water from the lakes or tributaries under the control
of the Grand River Dam Authority for free. Rural Water Districts
have previously been required to buy water from the GRDA, which
is a state agency. Oklahoma Rural Water Districts are by statute
also agencies of the State of Oklahoma. They function to provide
safe drinking water to rural residents.
In most instances, water purchased from GRDA has been taken by
the Water Districts at points along the Grand River that are past
or below the Pensacola Dam, which is the third and last dam owned
and controlled by the GRDA. This is surplus water which would otherwise
flow out of the state if not used by local entities.
“This bill will encourage utilization of water resources
in Oklahoma, by Oklahomans - lowering the cost of water to rural
residents and benefiting Oklahoma's economy,” said David.
David noted the Districts pay for all infrastructure, purification
and distribution costs. Districts do not assess or collect taxes.
All water costs are paid for by the District's rate payers. None
of the costs expended by Rural Water Districts are at taxpayer expense.
SB 248 is now awaiting further consideration by the House Energy
and Utility Regulation Committee.
For more information contact:
Sen. David: (405) 521-5590