KGOU

Tarrant Regional Water District

K. Latham / Flickr Creative Commons

When Gov. Mary Fallin and Texas Gov. Rick Perry in January agreed a north Texas water district could take water out of the Red River using a pump station in Oklahoma, they avoided what could’ve been a long legal battle over the exact location of the state’s southern boundary.

welcome to texas sign
Paul L. McCord, Jr. / Flickr Creative Commons

Exactly where the border between Oklahoma and Texas lies along the Red River has never been completely clear, especially where Lake Texoma covers the original river shore.

Mark Fischer / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court in June sided with Oklahoma, ruling the interstate Red River water compact did not entitle Texas to water within Oklahoma’s borders.

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.