StateImpact Oklahoma
10:08 am
Thu April 23, 2015

UPDATE: What StateImpact Is Watching In Oklahoma’s 2015 Legislative Session

Joseph Novak Flickr

There’s only about a month left in Oklahoma’s 2015 legislative session, and if bills haven’t made it out of the chamber they started in by now, they’re dead.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
6:54 am
Thu April 2, 2015

The View From Sardis Lake: Why Moving Water To Where It’s Needed Is So Hard

A sign along Oklahoma Highway 43 near Sardis Lake.
Logan Layden StateImpact Oklahoma

Moving water from where it’s plentiful to where it’s needed seems like a logical way to meet all Oklahomans’ future water needs. But water transfers are complicated, and not just because they’re expensive  but because communities with lots of water want to keep it. Nothing illustrates this tension better than Sardis Lake.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:39 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Duncan Left Wanting After State Drought Assistance For Water Project Falls Through

Credit J. STEPHEN CONN / Flickr Creative Commons

Duncan, Oklahoma has taken some of the worst of the drought these past five years. Stage 5 water rationing is in effect, which means — with few exceptions — a ban on all outside watering.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
8:16 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Why Fort Smith, Arkansas Is Planning Oklahoma’s Next Lake

The current Lee Creek Reservoir near Van Buren, Ark.
Logan Layden StateImpact

In Oklahoma, the natural beauty of Lee Creek — one of the state’s scenic rivers — is protected by state law. In Arkansas, Lee Creek is an important water source for fast-growing Fort Smith. Now, Fort Smith has a plan to turn Lee Creek into Oklahoma’s next lake, and reignite a dispute that was settled more than 20 years ago.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
7:49 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Lawton Turns to Weather Manipulation To Aid Drought-Stricken City Water Supplies

A Lockheed WC-130B used by U.S. government researchers Stormfury, a cloud seeding research project focused on reducing the strength of hurricanes.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Five years of drought has strangled lakes and reservoirs in southwestern Oklahoma.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
7:06 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Growing Resistance To Legislation That Could Lead To Cross-State Water Transfers

A fisherman walks up a dry boat dock at Tom Steed Reservoir. The lake is only 24 percent full and supplies water for Altus and other cities nearby.

A bill to study the possibility of moving water from eastern Oklahoma — where it’s abundant — to western Oklahoma — which has been suffering under half a decade of drought — has residents in the east worried about what transferring water out of their area would mean for their own water supply and the tourism so many communities there rely on. 

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StateImpact Oklahoma
12:12 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

2015 Water Legislation Divides Oklahoma Politicians By Geography, Not Party

Oklahomans for Responsible Water Policy board member Chuck Hutchinson speaking to the Wilburton, Okla. 20th Century Club Feb. 10.
Logan Layden StateImpact Oklahoma

After 5 years of drought, Oklahoma’s dwindling water resources have the attention of state lawmakers. There are competing bills to study moving waterfrom southeast Oklahoma to the Altus area, and to encourage self-sufficient,regionally based plans to meet future water needs.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
9:51 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Inhofe, Pruitt Sound Off On EPA's 'Waters Of The United States' Rule

Senator Jim Inhofe Facebook

A rare joint Congressional hearing in Washington Wednesday took up the issue of ‘Waters of the United States,’ the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to more clearly define which bodies of water qualify for federal protection under the Clean Water Act.

Republicans at the hearing — including Oklahoma’s senior U.S. senator and state attorney general — are convinced the move is a vast overreach of the EPA’s power that will place everything from ditches to farm ponds under government control.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:50 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Why Oklahoma Ranchers Are Getting More Federal Drought Aid Than Any Other State

AgriLife Today Flickr

Since the current drought in western Oklahoma began, ranchers have collected more than $800 million in federal drought relief payments that aid livestock producers. That’s more than any other state, including California and Texas, which have larger cattle industries, The Oklahoman‘s Silas Allen reports.

Here’s why:

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StateImpact Oklahoma
7:39 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Drought-Stricken Oklahoma Communities Dealing With Prospect Of Dead Lakes

Will Archer, manager of the Mountain Park Master Conservancy District, at the Tom Steed Reservoir dam.
Logan Layden StateImpact Oklahoma

Most of western Oklahoma is in its fifth year of drought with still no end in sight, despite a wetter than normal end to 2014.  And many of the lakes communities rely on for drinking water are now on the verge of being too low to use. The situation is most dire in Altus, Duncan, and Canton.

Tom Steed Lake

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