Water Resources Board Tabs New Officers, First Woman Chair

At its monthly meeting this week, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board elected three new officers, including the first woman chairman in the agency’s 54-year history.

The incoming Chairman is Linda Lambert, an Oklahoma City businesswoman, who represents industrial water use. She is the President of LASSO Corporation (an oil and gas development investment corporation), President of ENERTREE, L.L.C., a Director of OGE Energy Corp., Director of InvesTrust, Chairman of the Board for Mercy Health Center, and past Vice Chairman of the Oklahoma City Public Schools Trust.

“I am honored to assume this responsibility to oversee the state’s vital water business, especially working with other Board members and agency staff to finalize the 2012 update of the Oklahoma 50-Year Comprehensive Water Plan and implement its many water policy initiatives,” says Lambert, who was appointed by Governor Brad Henry in March 2007. 

“I especially look forward to working closely with Speaker Steele, President Pro Tem Bingman, and other members of the new joint committee on water, which was announced yesterday (Tuesday, June 14) to review the Water Plan and begin preparations for urgent and sustainable water legislation during next year’s session.”

According to J.D. Strong, Executive Director of the OWRB, the leadership and support of outgoing Board chairman Rudy Herrmann has been instrumental in both furthering the Water Plan and improving the agency’s overall water management strategy. 

“Rudy’s rare insight into often complex water issues has resulted in continued growth and refinement of our programs and mandates. I know Linda also brings her own unique viewpoint to the position so this strong leadership will remain consistent as water takes center stage on the political landscape in Oklahoma,” Strong said. 

Ford Drummond, a Bartlesville rancher, is the Board’s new Vice Chairman representing agricultural water interests. He is the owner and operator of a large family ranch in Osage County, a member of the BancFirst Corporation Board of Directors, and General Counsel of a regional health insurance company.  Previously, he spent several years in Washington D.C. as a Congressional advisor.

Now serving as Secretary is Joe Taron, a retired dentist from Shawnee, who is the Board’s rural residential water use representative. Dr. Taron is a founding member of the Pottawatomie County Development Authority, where he served as chairman for 30 years. He received the Oklahoma Water Pioneer Award in 2004.

The nine Water Board members, appointed by the Governor, define policy and conduct the state’s water management and protection activities. They serve staggered seven-year terms and represent all geographic areas of the state and diverse groups of water users.