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The Oka’ Institute, located at East Central University, is hosting its Fourth Annual Water Sustainability Conference, Oct. 8-9, in ECU Foundation Hall of the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center.

The conference brings together leaders in science, oil and gas, agriculture, public policy and more as they gain new strategies for sustainable water resources management and discover how strong scientific data and public perceptions influence policy decisions.

Oka’ means water in the Chickasaw and Choctaw languages.

The event begins with a Tuesday, Oct. 8, luncheon followed by water innovation and technology demonstrations on Centennial Plaza on the ECU campus. Also featured that afternoon are shuttles to visit the Smithsonian Waterways exhibit, hosted by the Ada Public Library, an interactive exhibit on Centennial Plaza by Blue Thumb and an undergraduate poster contest, along with an evening reception and dinner.

On Wednesday, Oct. 9, morning sessions will include information on the new Eastern Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer Hydrology Study. Timely updates will be provided by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Oklahoma Water Resources Board, Oklahoma Conservation Commission and the Oklahoma Rural Water Association, followed by a session on economic development relating to water.

Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon that day. Then, Wednesday afternoon sessions will include an international perspective on emerging water challenges and field research reports by outstanding Oklahoma professors. A new feature to the conference will be breaking into networking and round table discussions on topics of interest to participants.

Also, the Research Poster competition will feature cash prizes and is open to any undergraduate student at a university in the State of Oklahoma. In order to participate these students must register for the conference on the Oka’ website. Those competing must be present at the conference between 4 p.m.-5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 8, to address questions from judges and distinguished guests.

To register for the conference online go to

For more information, call the Oka’ Institute office at 580-559-5151 or email



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