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ADA, Okla. – The Oka’ Institute at East Central University will collaborate on a research project led by Oklahoma State University.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named OSU geology professor, Dr. Todd Halihan, the recipient of a $2 million research grant to enhance aquifer recharge (EAR) for improved groundwater quality and availability.

Executive Director of the Oka’ Institute, Duane Smith, characterized the partnership between OSU and the Oka' Institute as "the harmonious culmination of our institutional vision, Oka’ and OSU’s focus on practical water solutions using science-based water research".

Dr. Halihan's research focuses on the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer in Ada, Okla. which is of great significance as a critical source of freshwater for local communities.

This multi-institutional collaboration supports each institutes dedication to addressing environmental challenges and contributing to world-class research. Dr. Halihan emphasized, “Oklahoma is the world’s center of groundwater,” and the Oka’ Institute plays an integral role in this regard.

The awarding of this grant exemplifies the power of collaboration between academic institutions, research organizations, and local communities to address pressing environmental challenges and secure a reliable water supply for future generations. Over the next five years the collaborative team will install monitoring equipment to assess the effectiveness of recharge structures in increasing aquifer replenishment.

The work being performed will be highlighted in the 2023 Oka’ Con Water Sustainability Conference to be held Nov. 8-9. For more information on Oka’ Con or to register, visit

For more information about this collaboration, visit OSU’s press release at

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