NORMAN — Water quantity and quality has been top of mind for most local policymakers for a number of years. This summer’s drought has raised even more awareness from the general public.
Water planners look 50 years down the road. Norman’s 2060 strategic water supply plan will hold another public meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in City Council chambers, 201 W. Gray.
The agenda includes progress updates and some options to consider. One of the more viable options is securing water from southeastern Oklahoma. Those water rights are the subject of a dispute between the state and tribes.
U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, in a Transcript editorial board meeting this past week, said the state and tribes can fight it out in court for a decade or so or they can sit down and agree to settle the matter.
Mr. Cole said the residents of southeastern Oklahoma view the water fuss differently. The way they see it Texans want to put a straw in one side and Oklahoma City on the other and no one worries if the local folks will have enough water for themselves.
He said the tribal rights can’t be pushed aside. He likened the issue to the ones facing the gaming industry a few years ago. Through negotiations, all sides got some of what they wanted.