The Norman Transcript

State/Region

January 5, 2013

Supreme Court to hear Oklahoma water rights case

OKLAHOMA CITY — The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider whether a North Texas water district should be allowed access to water supplies in southeastern Oklahoma — a case that could determine the extent to which Oklahoma can preserve the surface and stream water within its borders.

Tarrant Regional Water District filed a lawsuit in 2007 seeking to invalidate Oklahoma statutes that govern the appropriation and use of water within its boundaries and that North Texas communities say pose burdens to interstate commerce. The water district wants to transfer water flowing through southeastern Oklahoma to Fort Worth, Arlington and surrounding communities. Oral arguments are scheduled for April.

The lawsuit, filed against the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and the Oklahoma Water Conservation Storage Commission, challenges the constitutionality of a moratorium on out-of-state water sales approved by the Oklahoma Legislature. It also seeks injunctions to prevent the board from enforcing the regulations.

A federal judge in Oklahoma City dismissed the lawsuit, and a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld the ruling. It found that the Red River Compact, which governs usage of water in the basin that includes Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, insulates Oklahoma water statutes from interstate commerce challenges involving surface water subject to the compact.

Officials said the Supreme Court’s review may clear up confusion about the right of one state to claim its share of waters of a shared river that flow through a neighboring state.

The district’s general manager, Jim Oliver, said he was pleased the Supreme Court agreed to decide the case. The district asked it to take of the case in January 2012, and the court asked the federal government to weigh in on the matter in April.

“The Tarrant Regional Water District has worked for many years to resolve the legal questions concerning rights to water under the Red River Compact,” Oliver said in a statement. He said the Supreme Court’s decision “will bring finality to the legal issues” that have prevented the district from addressing the regional water needs of rapidly growing north Texas.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State/Region
  • Tampering accusations surface in OKC bombing case

    SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawyer suing the FBI over his public records request for surveillance videos from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing said Tuesday that one of his witnesses backed out after being visited by government officials last ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Christie set to visit state for fundraiser

    OKLAHOMA CITY — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is planning a return trip to Oklahoma after a December ice storm forced him to cancel a scheduled appearance with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin....

    July 30, 2014

  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Scam targets migrants

    HOUSTON — Scammers have been preying on the relatives of unaccompanied young migrants being held at two U.S. military bases by conning them into paying nonexistent fees to be reunited with their loved ones, officials said....

    July 27, 2014

  • Trial delayed for man in murder case

    DUNCAN — The first-degree murder trial of a Velma man charged with killing a 16-year-old girl has been delayed until January....

    July 27, 2014

  • Man seeks video of 1995 Oklahoma City bombing

    OKLAHOMA CITY — One man’s quest to explain his brother’s mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. What some consider a far-flung ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Man found dead outside Tulsa home

    TULSA — Police in Tulsa are investigating the death of a man whose body was found outside a house on the city’s north side....

    July 27, 2014

  • McCain: Arizona execution ‘torture’

    TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture....

    July 26, 2014