Eastern Red Cedar trees are bad for Oklahoma. The volatile oils they contain can cause the trees to explode during wildfires, spreading embers over hundreds of yards. They crowd out other plants, force wildlife off their habitats, and steal rainfall — which is bad news during a drought.
As The Journal Record‘s Brian Brus reports, it’s been said each red cedar can guzzle dozens of gallons of water each day:
Canton, Oklahoma — population 625 — is a town on the brink. Canton relies on lake season, and lake season never really got started this year.
At the first of the year, Oklahoma City took water from Canton Lake to meet demand at the height of the drought. While that decision kept faucets flowing in the metro, it threatens the very existence of Canton the community.
City officials in Duncan, Okla., are looking for ways to keep from running out of water.
If drought conditions continue as they have over the last couple of years, the city of more than 23,000 will see its water supplies totally depleted by the end of 2016, according to a story in the Duncan Banner.
Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot discuss the implications of the Roma child found living with a couple in Greece, and the October 26 protest by Saudi women in defiance of the country's traditions against driving.
Later, a conversation about water and sanitation in Africa with the University of Oklahoma 2013 International Water Prize winner Ada Oko-Williams, and University College London hydrogeologist Richard Taylor.
Listen to Suzette Grillot's conversation with Ada Oko-Williams and Richard Taylor.
Ada Oko-Williams grew up in Nigeria, a country with more than 160 million people, but where only half the population has access to safe drinking water. Even fewer people have acceptable sanitary facilities.
She now lives and works in Sierra Leone, and over the past half-decade has worked with charities and non-governmental organizations in West Africa to create open-defecation free communities that benefit hundreds of thousands of people. Oko-Williams says the health problems associated with unsafe drinking water are well-known, but there are other dimensions to a lack of access.
Moving water from the southeast Oklahoma to Oklahoma City is highly controversial. The battle over who controls water across most of that part of the state still has the state, city and tribal governments tied up in court after more than two years.