Following the recent blue green algae (BGA) outbreak on Grand Lake, we wanted to highlight the efforts of the GRDA water research laboratory and the important work done there to collect water quality data and help promote and preserve Grand Lake and the valuable natural resources of the Grand River system.

Preserving a Grand View…

The windows lining one side of the Grand River Dam Authority’s water research laboratory actually look out onto the waters of Grand Lake. That is fitting, considering the purpose of the lab.

Created in 1935 to be a “conservation and reclamation district” for the waters of the Grand River, stewardship of the natural resources (Grand River watershed) under its control, has always been a top GRDA priority.

With the creation of the Ecosystems Management Department in 2004 and the establishment of the water lab in 2010, GRDA has continued to bring an even greater focus to stewardship and water quality research.

That responsibility expanded to include the Illinois River watershed on July 1, 2016, following GRDA’s merger with the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission (OSRC).

Today, new research-related programs are always being explored.

Whether its bacteria management, nutrients research, metals, zebra mussel monitoring, fisheries enhancement or a number of other studies, the lab – and GRDA personnel – are involved in the research.

However, that research never takes place in a vacuum. Since its beginnings, the department has worked with other resource and research agencies not only in Oklahoma but also all across the watershed area.

That collaboration with these partners, as well as with Oklahoma colleges and universities, is intended to benefit not only the watershed, but also those who live, work and play near its banks.

Protecting and preserving these valuable natural resources means protecting, preserving and promoting economic development and quality of life.

Those are also top GRDA priorities.

So, as the windows of the lab look out across Grand Lake, it is a daily reminder to GRDA’s Team of the real and valuable impact of water research, data collection and public outreach programs all intended to benefit not only fish and waterfowl, but also the thousands of Oklahomans who utilize these resources.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.