The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local news

March 15, 2013

Canton Lake Association to meet March 28

ENID, Okla. — Canton Lake Association will have a public meeting 6:30 p.m. March 28 at Canton Elementary School gym complex.

Those attending will discuss solutions to preserve Canton Lake water levels, recreation and western Oklahoma streams and groundwater.

“Devastating actions have compounded Canton Lake’s present condition,” said Tom Adams, CLA board member. “One issue for the patrons of Canton Lake and the CLA is northwest Oklahoma citizens were left out of the process in the lake’s current federal water storage contract and the state water permit, both of which exist in perpetuity.

“When combined, these actions create an environment in which Canton Lake could literally be sucked dry. The primary goal of the CLA is to affect change in the contracts, permits and water laws that enable this to happen to Canton Lake. Another goal of CLA is to give the public a voice in present and future policymaking decisions both at the federal and state level. We simply cannot allow a catastrophe like this to repeat again and again at our lake.”

Legislators, including state Sen. Bryce Marlatt and Rep. Mike Sanders, board members and representatives from Oklahomans for Responsible Water Policy and others from various state, federal and tribal agencies will participate.

Additionally, a representative from Northwest Oklahoma Alliance (NwOA), a group composed of municipalities, businesses and organizations, will speak on a northwest Oklahoma water plan. Discussion and ideas from the public will be encouraged.

“The current and future status of our rivers and lakes, including challenges brought on by the ongoing drought, will be discussed,” said CLA President Jeff Converse.

Having someone from ORWP speak “is extremely significant,” Adams said.

“The ORWP brings experience to the Canton Lake situation in the form of extensive knowledge of state water law and permitting processes,” Adams said. “ORWP has been heavily involved with the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes in southeastern Oklahoma in the battle over Sardis Lake and the interstate battle over water between Oklahoma and Texas. Now, ORWP is ready to help the Canton Lake community.”

For information, including how to join CLA, go to a blog at www.cantonlakeassn.org or write to Canton Lake Association, P.O. Box 693, Canton, OK 73724.

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