U.S. Water News Online
OKLAHOMA CITY -- About 2 billion gallons of Oklahoma water
end up behind a Texas dam every year, the Oklahoma Water Resources
Board says, and officials say they are ready to go to court to get
the water back.
Duane Smith, the board's executive director, says he still hopes
that is not necessary. State officials will try again to negotiate a
solution at a Canadian River Compact Commission meeting in Santa Fe,
``Both states have agreed to get together, talk and try to resolve
the issue, but no resolution is on the table,'' Smith said. ``We are
at the end of trying to negotiate. Something different has to
Smith said Texas will most probably have to agree to release some
of the reservoir's water.
``We need to have a breakthrough -- and right now, I am not
optimistic that will happen -- or we are going to court.''
Roger Cox, Texas' representative on the Canadian River Compact
Commission, sounded more hopeful.
``Even a bad settlement is better than a good lawsuit,'' he said.
``Our state stands ready to reach a resolution -- a solution we can
all live with.''
Oklahoma's position is that Texas should not have built a
reservoir on Palo Duro Creek, a stream that flows into Oklahoma's
Canadian River basin. Oklahoma officials say the reservoir violates a
Canadian compact provision that permits projects in the basin only if
they serve municipal water needs.
Texas officials claim the lake was built to provide water to
cities. The reservoir does not serve any, Oklahoma officials say.
Without the dam, the water would flow into Overholser and Hefner
lakes and be used in Oklahoma City.
Palo Duro Reservoir covers 8,984 acres and catches rainfall from a
614-square-mile area. It has 48 miles of shoreline and an average
depth of 46 feet. It can store up 19.8 billion gallons of water.
The lake is about 10 miles north of Spearman, Texas.
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