BOR grant to aid research study at Lake Thunderbird
Lake Thunderbird, the primary source of drinking water for Norman, Oklahoma and two surrounding cities, could become a drought-resilient water supply following a Garver-led pilot study backed by a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) grant.
One of four water reclamation and reuse research studies being conducted around the country to be awarded funding from the BOR, the Lake Thunderbird Water Reuse – Field Research Project for Inland Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR) will determine if IPR is feasible at the lake.
The pilot study will begin later this year and will be completed in 2022, allowing for the ability to demonstrate superior treatment technologies and optimization of operations under varying seasonal conditions.
Representatives from Garver joined officials from the City of Norman and others to announce the project on Friday, Jan. 31 at the Norman Public Library.
“This pilot study will assist Norman in its efforts to determine if water reuse is a safe, practical, and sustainable supplement to the City’s long-term water supply plan,” said Garver Reclaimed Water Planner Michael Graves. “Not only will this pilot study prove beneficial to Norman, but it will also serve as a valuable resource for other cities considering the use of IPR to meet their long-term water supply needs.”
The first project of its kind in the region, the Garver-led study will help Norman expand its existing water reclamation and reuse efforts, while also address reliability concerns at Lake Thunderbird and trim the demand placed on its marginal groundwater supply.
Throughout the pilot study, a citizen advisory committee consisting of members from each of the cities that rely on Lake Thunderbird for their water supply will meet regularly to review findings and communicate with respective community members.
The BOR awarded a total of $1.6 million to four Title XVI water reclamation and reuse research studies, which will lead to increased water management flexibility and more reliable water supplies, according to a news release announcing the awards.
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