The eighth annual Oklahoma Water Appreciation Day will be held March 19 at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Water Resources Board sponsors the event featuring water agency and organization booths and displays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Capitol’s 4th floor rotunda.  “Water Appreciation Day presents a unique opportunity for groups to demonstrate the importance of Oklahoma’s water resources as well as provide information on their water management, conservation, and educational programs for state legislators and other government officials,” says J.D. Strong, OWRB Executive Director. “This celebration of Oklahoma’s diverse water resources is especially appropriate now as we wrestle with the impacts of a third straight year of drought and continue to implement the major initiatives of the 2012 Update of the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan.”  Following five years of formal development, the 2012 OCWP Update was delivered last year to Governor Fallin and members of the State Legislature. The OCWP Executive Report, 13 watershed planning region reports and dozens of supporting documents include the results of numerous technical and policy studies of state water supplies, infrastructure needs, and priority water management issues.  The OWRB, Oklahoma’s water agency since 1957, continues its original charge of identifying water problems and proposing policies for fair and equitable water laws. Additionally, the OWRB has provided over $2.9 billion in loans and grants to assist communities and rural water districts in the construction of water and wastewater facilities, administers 12,688 permits for the beneficial use of stream and groundwater, studies the quality and quantity of surface and groundwaters, ensures the safety of private dams, encourages responsible floodplain management, coordinates four interstate stream compacts, monitors the quantity and quality of Oklahoma’s stream and groundwaters, develops Oklahoma Water Quality Standards to curb water pollution, identifies pollution sources, restores water quality, and oversees statewide water planning.  For more information on Water Appreciation Day, call Josh McClintock at 405-530-8800.