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By Debbie Leo
As we continue to wait for decisions regarding the use of the water in the Kiamichi River by Tomlin Energy, LLC and Oklahoma City, each under scrutiny, one by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) and the other by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, something positive is being presented to us in our fight to keep our Kiamichi River flowing and our water quality monitored.
Student, Lauren Haygood, soon to graduate with a Masters degree in “geoscience” at the University of Tulsa, was presented a grant to study the Arkansas River and will also include the Kiamichi River and tributaries of both rivers in her field studies.
Her purpose, to study water quality and it’s effects on our water throughout the region, share the data with the state in hopes to provide scientific data to encourage realtime knowledge for our water quality issues.
Lauren’s data will help the OWRB gain much needed knowledge about our two rivers, helping to bring about a new, scientific, sustainable overviews for the future of water permitting here in the state.
The pollutants that may be causing water quality problems and find ways to mitigate them.
I participated in one of the testing sites at Sardis Lake Reservoir’s spillway. Lauren brought her equipment, an remarkable array of testing equipment, easily used, giving results in minutes instead of hours or days.
The results of the testing, equally remarkable. Although the water on site was murky, the water quality was established as being well within the EPA water quality standards. She tested for cadmium, mercury, iron, dissolved solids and oxygenation of the water. Each tested within or under EPA standards. Surprising and good news at this site on that day. Scientifically done and added to her results as she moves throughout the region.
Lauren’s grant is an open invitation for you to participate in the testing at sites she will be posting throughout the year. I recommend exploring the science of our water, getting outdoors, seeing and participating in something new and unique, sampling our water and finding out how we stand in our right to have clean drinkable water.
Learning new things, seeing it firsthand, it is eye-opening and it was fun. She has a blog site, lavagirlgeologyblog.wordpress.com where you can follow her work.
I highly recommend following her work. After all, it’s all about all of us and our water. Knowledge is never over-rated.