For the past three consecutive years, Oklahoma lawmakers have been forced to grapple with a budget shortfall. An annual state income tax cut trigger, coupled with a decline in oil prices and a lack of state budget cuts, have been attributed to causing the state’s current budget situation.
Many have called for the state to diversify its economy, alleging Oklahoma is too reliant on the oil and gas industry. What if water could help expand the state economy?
Water is the lifeblood of human existence. As the world’s most precious commodity, water one day could be worth more than oil. But the state currently allows millions of acre feet to flow out of its borders every year. In fact, an average of 35 million acre feet left the state each year over the past decade–more than 17 times the state’s annual water use.
As the world’s most precious commodity, water one day could be worth more than oil.
Oklahoma has an abundant supply of water at its fingertips, yet chooses to do nothing with it. Doused by heavy rainfall last week, Oklahoma saw much of its drought diminished. But as farmers and ranchers know all too well, drought is cyclical. There will come a day when the rain does not fall. What then?
Instead of waiting for rain, Oklahoma must take advantage of its rich water supply now. With a robust water infrastructure system, the state can make sure water is where it is needed, when it is needed.
Imagine the possibilities for the state if water was never a concern. Every Oklahoman has access to clean drinking water. Family farmers and ranchers produce more plentiful, healthy and affordable food than ever before. More goods and commodities are transported by the state’s inland waterways. The oil and gas industry continues to grow. And new business is attracted by water.
Imagine the possibilities for the state if water was never a concern.
As the value of water continues to escalate, Oklahoma can emerge as a leader in the nation in water infrastructure. Farm Bureau members today are ready to work toward a bright economic future for the state. Let’s develop Oklahoma water!