Oklahoma Water Resources Board the Water Agency

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Press Release
August 12, 2016

OWRB Approves Historic Water Settlement at August Board Meeting

In their monthly August meeting today, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board approved by a unanimous vote the recently announced water rights settlement among the State of Oklahoma, Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations, and the City of Oklahoma City. The agreement will now be considered and voted upon by each of the parties respectively, the Choctaw Council, Chickasaw Legislature, and the City of Oklahoma City, before it's presented to Congress and the Federal government for final approvals.

After the vote, Chairman Linda Lambert remarked regarding the agreement and the board's vote, "The ability of the parties to cooperate, collaborate, and compromise resulted in an agreement that benefits all Oklahomans and avoids decades of costly litigation. Everyone is to be commended for their courage and visionary leadership to bring a swift conclusion to this litigation, including my fellow board members.”

As the state agency charged with planning, managing, and monitoring the state's water resources, the OWRB's focus has been to provide certainty and consistency for both existing water users and those that will seek rights to water in the future.

“The agreement approved by the Board today maintains the OWRB’s role and responsibility in allocating and managing the state’s water resources for the benefit of all Oklahomans, while also addressing the values and protections important to the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations,” said OWRB Executive Director J. D. Strong. "Importantly, this agreement resolves the state’s debt to the Federal government for construction of Sardis Lake, while at the same time making water available to meet the long term needs of Oklahoma City and surrounding metropolitan area."

For more information, including a full copy of the historic water agreement, visit waterunityok.com.

For more information about the OWRB's water management and monitoring programs, visit www.owrb.ok.gov.

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