The Norman Transcript

Editorials

April 23, 2013

State should control water

NORMAN — The sprawling growth of north Texas residential communities can’t continue without additional sources of cheap, fresh water. For years the thirsty communities north of Fort Worth and Dallas have coveted the fresh water that flows in southeastern Oklahoma.

Under a 30-plus-year-old agreement, four states have a right to some excess water that ends up in the Red River. But whether Texas can take it directly from the Oklahoma creeks and rivers as before it hits the Red River and turns salty is in dispute. Only Texas is asking but Arkansas and Louisiana could be bound by whatever the court rules.

That dispute will play out in the U.S. Supreme Court this week. A decision is expected before the court recesses this summer. Lower courts have upheld Oklahoma’s rights to control the water within its borders.

Oklahoma was able to put off the issue for several years. First, a statewide water needs study was done. Second, lawmakers and Native American tribes got involved, further stalling the debate.

The 1980 agreement doesn’t specifically address one state taking its allotment before it reaches their borders. Lawyers for Oklahoma interests argue that it should be a given: States only have access to water within their boundaries unless otherwise specified.

Allowing one state access to water inside another state’s borders would open up an entire new area of water law. A group of law professors, the tribes and state officials are hoping to make that point this week. We hope the high court gets it.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Marijuana a gateway for new OK voters

    A poll this past year showed significant Oklahoma support for legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The poll showed that more than 71 percent of those surveyed thought medical marijuana was appropriate for patients who ...

    July 31, 2014

  • America paying the piper

    Every third American you pass on the street has debts that have been turned over to a collection agency whose 140,000 workers are keeping the phones ringing....

    July 31, 2014

  • State is No. 2 in barbecue

    Americans love the marriage of smoke, fire and meat, but geography plays a part in how strong the passion is. Estately Blog has created a map charting which states are home to the most barbecue enthusiasts. Oklahoma comes in at No. 2 in ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Keep guns off campus

    Some Oklahoma lawmakers just won’t let the issue of allowing handguns on campus to go away. A joint legislative study will take a look at campuses around the nation to see if there is a way to accommodate faculty, staff and students who ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Improving children’s lives

    Social service organizations that have long-term debt for their headquarters and operating needs often spend much of their fundraising efforts meeting those obligations....

    July 29, 2014

  • State, local jobmarkets look up

    A tight labor market is often a big problem for economic development professionals. They need to be able to promise companies that there are willing workers in the community’s labor pool....

    July 26, 2014

  • Be careful out in the heat

    This week’s triple-digit temperatures are contributing to heat-related illnesses. The state health department’s Injury Prevention Service reminds Oklahomans of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke....

    July 25, 2014

  • Get smart on crime

    It’s no secret that prison guards have become the frontline mental health case workers in Oklahoma prisons. Accessing mental health services outside of prison is tough but even harder behind the walls....

    July 25, 2014

  • Quite the resilient bunch

    The people of Moore are a resilient bunch. They’ve bounced back from tornadoes before, but the current renaissance may be the quickest yet. FEMA officials said it would take two years to see some sense of normalcy. That’s hardly the case....

    July 24, 2014

  • A fresh start for VA

    All of us have high hopes for the confirmation and success of Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald. If confirmed — and most believe he’s a shoe-in — McDonald will take over a paralyzed system of health care that is not ...

    July 24, 2014