The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 9, 2013

Legal wrangling over water not over


Enid News & Eagle

— In case you haven’t heard, water is the new oil.

And water is on everyone’s mind as summer temperatures soar into triple digits.

A recent Associated Press report on Oklahoma’s water rights issues shows how our state’s legal wrangling is far from over despite a victory last month.

The state just blocked a legal challenge by a Texas water district claiming compact rights to cross the Red River and take water for the Fort Worth area.  

Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s still squabbling with two tribes, the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations, over water rights in the southeastern part of the state.

A tribal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court sought an injunction to bar transportation of water from southeastern Oklahoma to Oklahoma City.

Michael Burrage, attorney for the tribes, claims the negotiation process still is working. We’ll know more mid-month after an Oklahoma City meeting.

“At this stage in the process, we think we can work well with each other,” Burrage told AP.

Although the discussions continue to trickle, no one can predict when both sides will reach a resolution. It will be interesting.