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2006 - State Government Program - Oklahoma Water Watch (OWRB), Oklahoma City

Faced with limited resources in 1992, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board pioneered the Oklahoma Water Watch program to make use of volunteers in collecting vital water quality data around the state. 

Today, there are 32 active chapters gathering data on 30 lakes and streams at 99 different sites.

The Water Watch volunteers include junior high school students and senior citizens, people with graduate degrees in science and some with minimal exposure to scientific concepts.  The numbers of volunteers expanded rapidly this year with large monitoring groups established at lakes Hudson and Eufala.  They are being assisted with a new database, allowing them to enter monthly data online, and by access to a new online store, allowing them to conveniently order needed supplies. 

The judges this year were very impressed with the large scope of this program and its recent growth, calling it a “silent giant watchdog” for Oklahoma’s lakes and streams.  The excellence of the Oklahoma Water Watch volunteer program is an inspiration to everyone concerned with water issues, so, Oklahoma Water Resources Board, we salute you!