A battle ends, but the fight for water in Oklahoma continues
Vol. 5 No. 1 (2014). Cover photo: Lake Buchanan, Burnet County. ©2014. Mark Lee, Lower Colorado River Authority.


water supply
constitutional law
interstate compacts
tribal water rights



As the lifeblood of land and communities, water will forever remain at the center of people’s lives in the arid Southwestern United States and, given the scarcity of water resources, at the center of their disputes. In Oklahoma, disputes over water seem unending with entities in North Texas seeking access to desperately needed water supplies in the Red River Basin, and Indian Nations claiming tribal rights to water in southeastern Oklahoma. Given the recent decision in Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann, Oklahoma seems to have at least settled, for the time being, one dispute, leaving North Texas entities looking to develop additional water supplies elsewhere. But, Oklahoma’s battle with the Chocktaw and Chickasaw Nations over rights to water in southeastern Oklahoma appears to just be heating up as drought conditions do the same.