201 Stephenson Parkway, Suite 2100 Norman, OK 73019

Usable Water Resources

Toward Sustainable & Usable Water Resources


Water resources sustain ecosystems and peoples across our region. Yet drought, flood and seasonal changes in precipitation stress water availability and quality, while warming temperatures increase evapotranspiration and population growth heightens the demand and competition for already-limited water. Stressed vegetation can increase risks for insect infestation, wildfire, soil degradation, and plant mortality, causing long-term shifts in wildlife habitat and increased potential for the advance of invasive species.

Our Team

Established in October 2018, the Sustainable and Usable Water Resources team has 23 members:

Sean Wineland (co-lead), University of Oklahoma

Newakis Weber, Chickasaw Nation

J. Pablo Ortiz-Partida, University of California Davis

Xiangming Xiao, University of Oklahoma

Randy Peppler, University of Oklahoma

Laura Garza

Thomas Neeson (co-lead), University of Oklahoma

Sophie Plassin, University of Oklahoma

Sam Sandoval, University of California Davis

Jennifer Koch, University of Oklahoma

Ethan Schuth, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Abubakarr Mansaray

Adrienne Wootten, University of Oklahoma

Kevin Wagner, Oklahoma State University

Yang Hong, University of Oklahoma

Stephanie Paladino, University of Oklahoma

Grace Gomez-Quiroga

Belize Lane

Hakan Basagaoglu, Edwards Aquifer

Luzma Nava

Ramon Saiz

Ali Mirchi, Oklahoma State University

Jack Friedman, University of Oklahoma


Our Projects

Milestones & Next Steps for 2021:

Two papers are currently being revised/reviewed for publication: The environmental flows implementation challenge: Insights and recommendations across semi-arid, water-limited systems in North America by Wineland et al. was resubmitted to WIREs: Water; and Environmental Flows in the Rio Grande – Rio Bravo by Sandoval-Solis et al. is being revised by co-authors.

Coming up: Plans are being made for Sumemr 2021, which include a data synthesis research project led by Dr. Thomas Neeson. This project will involve gathering and describing data on freshwater conservation initiative programs over time to better understand patterns of adoption between mandatory and non-mandatory programs.

An additional research and stakeholder involvement project planned for this year includes the cultural value of sustainability led by Sean Wineland and Ethan Schuth. The plan is to provide actionable and relatable outcomes or products to tribal leadership or members related to climate change and water resources. The project will investigate the opportunity costs of planning vs not planning for climate change, likely using the EPA’s C.R.E.A.T. tool.