Grand River Dam Authority Helps Communities Understand Water Quality Impact; Wins OSAW Award

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Grand River Dam Authority Helps Communities Understand Water Quality Impact; Wins OSAW Award

DATE:

April 1, 2024

BY:

Jeremy Chase-Israel, Content Development Specialist, National Hydropower Association

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Grand River Dam Authority Helps Communities Understand Water Quality Impact; Wins OSAW Award

NHA thanks our sponsors:

Reel COH

During Clean Currents 2023, held in Cincinnati, Ohio, last October, Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) received an Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters Award (OSAW) in the category of Public Education for its “Beyond the Dam – Improving Water Quality One Community at a Time” program.

National Hydropower Association’s (NHA) OSAW Awards are an annual honor that recognizes deserving organizations in the hydropower and marine energy industry for projects that exhibit exemplary operational, educational, historical, recreational, or environmental enhancement and stewardship.

GRDA’s “Beyond the Dam – Improving Water Quality One Community at a Time” program received an OSAW Award for providing workshops and educational events in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas, helping small communities understand their impact on water quality. GRDA’s work exemplifies hydropower’s community and educational merits.

THE PROGRAM

Grand River Dam Authority sells electricity to several smaller communities throughout Oklahoma, as well as one community each in Kansas and Arkansas. Oftentimes, residents of these communities are unaware of how reducing stormwater runoff benefits them and the community.

Building off of its success with watershed conservation programming deployed in GRDA’s watershed, GRDA began offering similar programming to customers, resulting in the deployment of educational programming in eight of its customer cities.

These workshops and educational events helped residents better understand the impact they have on water quality and how simple changes can lead to a big difference. The programming covered topics such as developing a greater understanding of the local watershed, landscaping for water quality, soil health, and pollinator habitat improvement. Additionally, GRDA provided an erosion demonstration trailer, rain barrels, wildflower seeds, discounted attendance to three-day educator workshops, guidance with quality monitoring, and activities for children.

Through these services, GRDA’s customers are better able to live their lives while mitigating impact to nearby bodies of water. The programming also allows GRDA to explain the company’s work, including how the power is generated, and demonstrate the ways in which water connect us all.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

The application window for the 2024 OSAW Awards has opened (deadline for submissions is May 15), and the award ceremony will take place at NHA’s Clean Currents in Portland, Oregon, which runs October 7-10.

For more information about the OSAW Awards, click here.

Watch the OSAW Awards video here.