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“It’s is a great way to get free weather information where you might not typically be able to get it—in the rural areas around Oklahoma,” Roulet says. WFEC power plants in Anadarko and Hugo rely on millions of gallons of water from local lakes to create the steam necessary to generate power. Checking the site for moisture levels in the reservoir watersheds keeps Roulet informed of the amount of water available for generation. It also helps him predict short-term generation needs. “In WFEC’s world, every single day we have to forecast what our load is going to be for the following day. We have to forecast peak load and be responsible for generating the energy to meet that load,” he says. “Wind, temperature, humidity, all of these factors go into that projected number.” Currently, severe drought is forcing western Oklahoma farmers to pump water on thirsty crops. Because irrigation comprises roughly 10 percent of WFEC’s load, Roulet looks to the network to predict energy demand in areas where irrigation is substantial. Roulet is also a volunteer observer for the organization. “Every morning I check my rain gauge and I report it when I get to work,” he says. Afterward, he brings up the big map to see what’s going on across the state, or he uses the handy app. He refers others to the site whenever possible and has created fans among those unfamiliar with its benefits. “A lot of people don’t know this exists. It’s a good tool for farmers, and it’s a great way to keep track of what’s going on across the state,” Roulet adds.


PROMISE.


RESTORING THE LAND. KEEPING THE


For more than 20 years, the promise to clean up the remnants of Oklahoma’s abandoned well sites has enhanced the beauty of our state more than 16,000 times over. To date, the OERB has committed over $113 million to restore abandoned sites at no cost to landowners. We’re proud to serve Oklahomans who work, play and live on the land we call home.


CALL 1-800-664-1301 OR VISIT OERB.COM TO REGISTER YOUR SITE TODAY.


Matt McGuire Perry, Oklahoma Restoration #13,327


Wanted:


Your eyes on the sky


Help Oklahoma build its weather data archives by be-


coming a volunteer observer for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. Rural volun- teers are needed statewide. The following counties are in particular need of observers: Alfalfa; Atoka; Carter; Choctaw; Cotton; Dewey; Garvin; Harmon; Harper; Hughes; Latimer; Le Flore; Nowata; Okfuskgee; Roger Mills; Stephens; Texas; and Woods. For details, please visit www.cocorahs.org.


Perhaps the greater genius lies in the organization’s simple appeal to ev- eryday citizen scientists whose contributions enhance the understanding of weather patterns—and can potentially save lives.


“One of the best things about this is that people want to contribute to it and it’s inexpensive and easy for them to participate,” Lutrell says. “Because of that, it’s a very successful and cost effective way to measure our weather across the state.”


Make the network a favorite on your internet browser and get the real scoop on Oklahoma weather: www.cocorahs.org.


©2018 OERB®


APRIL 2018


25


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