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Water agencies in Oklahoma will be able to draw up water reuse projects and implement them in an effort to tackle the challenges that the state faces regarding drinking water supplies. Long-term drought and increased commercial use of water have been putting water companies under pressure, but they will now be able to use recycled water to complement their supplies.
Such moves are permitted under the new Senate Bill 1187, which Gov. Mary Fallin signed on May 28, Desalination.biz reported. The new law comes into force immediately and entitles the state Department of Environmental Quality to issue permits for point-source discharges into public and private water supplies, provided that these are used to create and implement water-reuse projects. However, these discharges will still have to meet specific criteria set up by Oklahoma's Environmental Quality Board and Water Resources Board.
State Sen. Rob Standridge and state Rep. Scott Martin, sponsors of the bill, believe that water reuse is a good way to enable many municipal and district water utilities to ensure a more reliable water supply to consumers. The new bill will make it possible for them to take advantage of new and proven technologies for reuse and conservation, Standridge said. Water reuse is not only more sustainable but also a more practical and cost-effective method for expanding water supplies than building pipelines and reservoirs, he concluded.