North Texas, Oklahoma in High-Stakes Water Fight

Water, water everywhere… for the right price

Friday, Attorney General Drew Edmondson’s office asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Tarrant Regional Water District alleging that Oklahoma’s moratorium on out-of-state water sales is unconstitutional.

The district filed the suit two years ago, but Oklahoma argues that it has already repealed the ban. The situation is part of a much bigger water feud going on with our friendly neighbors to the north.

TRWD has applied to purchase up to 150 billion gallons of water from Red River tributaries, Cache Creek, Beaver Creek and the Kiamichi River, arguing that Oklahoma doesn’t really need it.

But Oklahoma would be benefiting from the large sums of money involved. It has offered $15 to $60 million to transport the water. However, if the district wins the case, it could be getting the water for free. Oklahoma currently transports water for free to districts within the state, and the suit could force it to give the same deal to out-of-state customers.

North Texas has used some slick wooing techniques, reasoning that Oklahoma could use the extra money to build reservoirs and much-needed pipelines. Besides, we are all one big happy family, though our state lines divide us, and according to its recently produced public relations video, "In times of drought, Oklahoma will always come first.”

Holly LaFon has written and worked for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.

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