Estimated Water Withdrawals in Oklahoma, 2000

Science Center Objects

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) established the National Water-Use Information Program in 1977 to collect uniform, current, and reliable information on water use. The USGS has compiled national estimates every 5 years since 1950. The most recent national water use compilation is for 2000. The data presented here are the result of the 2000 compilation effort for Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Water Science Center of the USGS and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board participate in a cooperative program to collect and publish water-use information for Oklahoma. Data contained in this web page were made available through the cooperative program.

Introduction

This web page presents 2000 freshwater withdrawal estimates for Oklahoma by source and category. Withdrawal source is either ground water or surface water. Withdrawal categories include: irrigation, water supply, livestock and aquaculture, thermoelectric-power generation, domestic and commercial, and industrial and mining. Withdrawal data are aggregated and tabulated by county, principal river basin, and major aquifer. Total withdrawals and three major categories of irrigation, water supply, and livestock, also are presented in ranked order for the top 10 counties in Oklahoma.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) established the National Water-Use Information Program in 1977 to collect uniform, current, and reliable information on water use. The USGS has compiled national estimates every 5 years since 1950. The most recent national water use compilation is for 2000 (Hutson and others, 2004). The data presented here are the result of the 2000 compilation effort for Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Water Science Center of the USGS and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board participate in a cooperative program to collect and publish water-use information for Oklahoma. Data contained in this web page were made available through the cooperative program.

Terminology

Withdrawal is the amount of water withdrawn or diverted from a ground- or surface-water source. Use is the amount of water that is brought into a facility (or to an irrigation area) for use, and is equal to the withdrawal plus delivery from water suppliers minus any loss that occurred prior to use. Fresh water is defined as water containing less than 1,000 milligrams per liter of dissolved solids.

Approach

Water-use data were estimated using 2000 Oklahoma Water Resources Board data as the primary data source. The Oklahoma Water Resources Board collects water-use data through an annual survey of permitted water users.

Additional data are collected or estimated by:

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • Oklahoma Agricultural Statistics Service
  • Oklahoma State Corporation Commission Oklahoma State Department of Environmental Quality
  • Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service
  • Grand River Dam Authority
  • City of Oklahoma City
  • City of Tulsa
  • U.S. Geological Survey

Different definitions and categories of use are used by different agencies. The different definitions and approach to data compilation require the USGS to recompile the Oklahoma Water Resources Board data and add data from other sources to obtain the information needed for the national program. For example, the USGS and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board primarily compile data by site of withdrawal, but some agencies compile data by site where used or final user. When large quantities of water are transferred between other counties or river basins, these differences in accounting procedures can create differences in reported use. Also, the definitions of the various categories vary between agencies. For example, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board has a public water-supply category that includes deliveries to residential, commercial, and industrial users, plus sales to other municipalities. Their industrial and commercial categories are for self-supplied users only. Therefore, the components with public water supply must be extracted and compiled under several other use categories. A USGS animal specialty category such as fish farming had to be extracted from commercial and agricultural (nonirrigation). Thus, all information contained in this web page is compiled from several sources and cannot be compared directly to the Oklahoma Water Resources Board water-use totals.

Total withdrawals by water source were obtained by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board from mail-out surveys. The Oklahoma Water Resources Board developed special data-retrieval procedures for the USGS water-use program. The data were provided to the USGS as withdrawal-site totals by use category by county, and were further sorted by river basin and aquifer within the county. Irrigation withdrawals also were collated by crop so the consumptive use could be estimated. These data were compared with 2000 Oklahoma agricultural statistics (Oklahoma Agricultural Statistics Service, 2001). Water-supply water-use data were supplemented by unpublished data supplied in written communications by the Cities of Oklahoma City and Tulsa and by the Grand River Dam Authority. Livestock water use was estimated from animal population figures supplied by the Oklahoma Agricultural Statistics Service (2001) and cross-referenced with the Oklahoma State University Agricultural Extension poultry report by Britton and Berry (2001) and the Oklahoma State University Economics Department and Oklahoma Pork Council swine report by Williams and Luce (2002); and consumption coefficients were supplied by Oklahoma State University Agricultural Engineering Department (R.L. Huhnke, written commun., 1991). The average annual precipitation may be helpful in interpreting the estimated withdrawal data for 2000; the 2000 statewide average precipitation was 36.13 in.

Water-use data used to derive the estimates contained in this web page were made available to the USGS by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. Specific details about withdrawals, sources, transfers, and retrievals were provided by T. Andy Scurlock and Jann P. Hook. Individual water users supplied original withdrawal information to the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

Estimated Freshwater Withdrawals

During 2000 in Oklahoma:

  • Total quantity of freshwater withdrawals for all purposes was estimated to be 1,772 million gallons per day.
  • Total surface-water withdrawals were estimated to be 998.4 million gallons per day or 56 percent of the total freshwater withdrawals.
  • Total ground-water withdrawals were about 773.7 million gallons per day or 44 percent of the total freshwater withdrawals.

For the top four withdrawal categories:

  • Irrigation withdrawals accounted for 40 percent of total withdrawals and for 73 percent of ground-water withdrawals.
  • Water-supply withdrawals accounted for 38 percent of total withdrawals. Ground water was the source for 17 percent and surface water was the source for 83 percent of water-supply withdrawals.
  • Livestock withdrawals accounted for 9 percent of the total withdrawals.
  • Thermoelectric-power generation accounted for 8 percent of total withdrawals.

For the top three counties the largest amount of fresh water withdrawn for:

  • Irrigation purposes was in Texas County, followed by Jackson and Cimarron Counties.
  • Water-supply purposes was in Mayes County, followed by Oklahoma and Atoka Counties.
  • Livestock and Aquaculture purposes was in Texas, Bryan, and Johnston Counties.
  • Thermoelectric-power generation purposes was in Muskogee County, followed by Seminole, and Rogers Counties, which accounted for over 65 percent of the withdrawals.

Tables

Table 1: Total withdrawals for Oklahoma, 2000.

Table 2: Freshwater for each county in Oklahoma, 2000.