StateImpact water

StateImpact Oklahoma
8:43 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Can Coal Plants Dump Unlimited Amounts Of Toxic Metals Into OK’s Waterways?

Grand Riverkeeper Earl Hatley stands at the edge of the GRDA power plant's property near Chouteau, Okla
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

There’s a report out from a group of environmental organizations including Waterkeeper Alliance and the Sierra Club that says there are “essentially no limits” on the amounts toxic metals coal-fired power plants can dump into Oklahoma’s waterways.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
12:31 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

OKC’s Tab For Tapping Sardis Water Could Be $1 Billion

Sardis Lake
Credit Olliehigh / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma City already depends on water from southeastern Oklahoma, but the 60-inch, 100-mile pipeline from Lake Atoka ain’t enough.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
8:06 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Months Later, Oklahoma’s Salt Fork River Fish Kill Is Still a Mystery

The mysterious Salt Fork fish kill is worrying residents, river-goers and anglers like Baron Owens, whose dad lives on a stretch of the river near Ponca City.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

A summer fish kill in north-central Oklahoma is worrying anglers, river-goers and nearby water users.

The Salt Fork River die-off was massive and, still months after it was reported, mysterious. Researchers and state authorities say they still don’t know who or what the killer is.

Two fish kills were reported to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, records show. The first one on June 3, upstream near Lamont; the second on June 17, near Tonkawa. The two fish kills are likely related, so state authorities are investigating them as one event, officials from the DEQ, state Department of Wildlife Conservation and Corporation Commission tell StateImpact.

Listen to the story from Joe Wertz.

“In the areas that overlapped during the kills, there is absolutely zero aquatic life other than turtles,” says Spencer Grace, a state game warden stationed in Kay County.

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Water
7:53 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Water Wars: Who Controls The Flow?

Cattle stand in a heavily irrigated pasture in Oregon's Upper Klamath Basin. The state has ordered ranchers in the region to shut down irrigation. The move is aimed at protecting the rights of Indian tribes who live downstream.
Amelia Templeton for NPR

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 6:39 pm

So often, we take water for granted. We turn on the faucet and there it is. We assume it's our right in America to have water. And yet, water is a resource. It's not always where we need it, or there when we need it.

Rivers don't follow political boundaries — they flow through states and over international borders. And there are endless demands for water: for agriculture, drinking, plumbing, manufacturing, to name just a few. And then there's the ecosystem that depends on water getting downstream.

So what are our legal rights when it comes to water? And who decides?

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Breaking
1:23 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Unanimous: Supreme Court Supports Oklahoma in Cross Border Water Fight

Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana signed the Red River Compact in 1978. The agreement regulates water rights in a large swathe of the four states.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Supreme Court has unanimously rejected Texas' claim that it has a right under a 30-year-old agreement to cross the border with Oklahoma for water to serve the fast-growing Fort Worth area.

The justices on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling that said Oklahoma laws intended to block Texas' water claims are valid.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:48 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Leak in Aging Water Pipeline Forces Broken Arrow To Close Restaurants

Earthmovers carve out a new reservoir for Broken Arrow at the site of the city's out-of-date water treatment plant in November 2012.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Restaurants in Broken Arrow were ordered to close Wednesday because of a leak in a pipeline that brings water to the city from Pryor, about 30 miles away.

The news can’t come as a complete surprise to Broken Arrow officials, like Engineering Director Kenny Schwab.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:49 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

The Federal Cost Of Clean Drinking Water In Oklahoma: $6.5 Billion

The Vendome Well at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur, Okla.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Every four years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency releases an analysis of how much federal money states will need to complete water projects to provide clean drinking water over the next 20 years.

The most recent update of the EPA’s Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment was just released, and the national need is staggering:

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:47 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Gov. Fallin Signs Law Giving Oklahoma Water Regulator Regional Representation

Water advocacy groups praised the new law, saying it it would give a bigger planning voice to rural areas, especially water-rich southeastern Oklahoma.
Credit Joe Wertz / The Oklahoma Water Resources Board is a big advocate for regional water planning, the idea that local control over who uses what water and where it’s sent will lead to better conservation. But the move toward regional planning signed into law Friday by G

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board is a big advocate for regional water planning, the idea that local control over who uses what water and where it’s sent will lead to better conservation.

But the move toward regional planning signed into law Friday by Gov. Mary Fallin isn’t exactly what the board had in mind.

“We had nothing to do with this bill,” OWRB Executive Director J.D. Strong says.

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8:30 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Inside the Arguments in Oklahoma’s Supreme Court Water Case

Lead in text: 
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Tarrant v. Herrmann, an Oklahoma-Texas water fight with national implications. The justices grappled with the 30-year-old Red River Compact, and whether a region of Texas can reach across state lines to access water in southeastern Oklahoma.
The two states have different interpretations of some language in the agreement. The compact gives Oklahoma and Texas “equal rights” to some of the water in southeastern Oklahoma. But “equal rights” means different things to each state.
4:49 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Cause and Client: An Oklahoma Attorney’s Experience at the U.S. Supreme Court

Lead in text: 
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in an Oklahoma-Texas water case that could have ripple effects on interstate water-sharing agreements throughout the country.
To get a little insight into the state's history at the high court, StateImpact spoke with an Oklahoma attorney who's been there.

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