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New Data, Fresh Questions: Did Texas Really Need Oklahoma’s Water?

State Sen. Jerry Ellis, D-Valiant, opposes the sale or transfer of Oklahoma water to Texas.

In its protracted fight with Oklahoma over rights to water in the Red River basin, a north Texas water-planning district argued to the U.S. Supreme Court justices that it was entitled to water within Oklahoma’s borders. To bolster its claims to water in southeastern Oklahoma, the Tarrant Regional Water District also painted dire predictions for [...]

OKC’s Tab for Tapping Sardis Water Could Be $1 Billion

Sardis Lake in southeastern Oklahoma.

Oklahoma City already depends on water from southeastern Oklahoma, but the 60-inch, 100-mile pipeline from Lake Atoka isn’t enough. An ongoing federal lawsuit with the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations has stalled OKC’s efforts to tap Sardis Lake Reservoir. But even if OKC gets the rights to Sardis Lake, it’s still going to have to pump the [...]

Supreme Court Sides With Oklahoma in Tarrant v. Herrmann Water Case

The Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday unanimously sided with Oklahoma in Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann, the state’s long-simmering fight with Texas over water in the Red River basin. The decision was unanimous, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the opinion for the court. Here’s an excerpt from her opinion, which is embedded above: [...]

Inside the Arguments in Oklahoma’s Supreme Court Water Case

The OK-TX water dispute centers on the Kiamichi River in near Hugo in southeastern Oklahoma.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Tarrant v. Herrmann, an Oklahoma-Texas water fight with national implications. The justices grappled with the 30-year-old Red River Compact, and whether a region of Texas can reach across state lines to access water in southeastern Oklahoma. The two states have different interpretations of some language in [...]

Effort to Repeal State Water Conservation Goal Dies, Might Be Revived Next Year

Oklahoma State Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore.

The Water for 2060 Act has survived a repeal effort from Oklahoma State Representative Paul Wesselholft, R-Moore. Wesselhoft confirmed to StateImpact on Thursday that his repeal bill will not be voted on by the full House, even though it passed through the Administrative Rules and Government Oversight Committee by a 9-1 vote. The Water for 2060 Act [...]

Interactive Map: The Cost of Water in Oklahoma

Water Rates

Municipal Water Rates – 2012 There are more than 750 local water authorities in Oklahoma. There isn’t a comprehensive database of water costs, but data from the Oklahoma Municipal League offers a snapshot of the rates residential and business customers pay each month. The data, based on surveys the Municipal League conducts every other year, [...]

Troubled Water: A Deep Dive Into Oklahoma’s Most Precious Resource

In January, Oklahoma City's Lake Hefner recorded its lowest lake level in its 66-year history.

In many ways, the history of Oklahoma is a story of water. Our geography is drawn by rivers and streams. And our cultural legacy is informed by drought. History, money and consumption have shaped Oklahoma water policy. Here’s a look at the role each part plays in the plan policymakers are writing to protect what former governor [...]

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