A battle ends, but the fight for water in Oklahoma continues

Sara R. Thornton



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.


water supply, constitutional law, interstate compacts, tribal water rights

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Texas Water Journal

The Texas Water Journal is an online, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the timely consideration of Texas water resources management, research, and policy issues from a multidisciplinary perspective that integrates science, engineering, law, planning, and other disciplines. It also provides updates on key state legislation and policy changes by Texas administrative agencies. The journal is published by the Texas Water Journal, a nonprofit organization, in cooperation with the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife.

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