In a commentary piece from NonDoc, Walters, a Democrat who served from 1991-1995, says 30 billion gallons of unused water flows into the Red River each day, and capturing and selling just a small portion of it could end the state’s financial problems and make southeast Oklahoma’s economy boom.
Drought is back in Oklahoma. More than half the state now falls in the extreme drought category, and normally water-rich southeast Oklahoma is bearing the brunt of a very dry fall and winter.
The lakes and streams of southeast Oklahoma are vital to the area’s economy, and Broken Bow resident Charlette Hearne has made it her mission to stand in the way of attempts to move water out of her part of the state.
After five years of confidential negotiations, the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations have reached an agreement with the State of Oklahoma over water in southeast Oklahoma. The deal has been praised by state leaders as a historic accord that ends the tribes’ lawsuit that blocked Oklahoma City’s plan to pump water out of the region. But the deal still has to be sold to tribe members in that part of the state.
The idea is for Norman to be water independent. For now, however, Norman still needs the water Oklahoma City is selling.
Downtown OKC is a far different, and much better place than it was in April 1995.
Moving water from where it’s plentiful — in sparsely populated southeast Oklahoma — to where it’s needed seems like a logical way to meet everyone’s future water needs.
A smaller version of what’s happening with the drought statewide can be seen in OKC.
Oklahoma City has been pumping water out of southeast Oklahoma along the Atoka pipeline for 50 years.