The State of Oklahoma is a party to four separate interstate stream compacts involving all the surface waters in that flow into or out of Oklahoma. These are the Canadian River Compact among New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma; the Arkansas River Basin Compact between Kansas and Oklahoma; the Arkansas River Basin Compact between Arkansas and Oklahoma; and the Red River Compact among Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
Compacts are written agreements among or between States which have been approved by the United States Congress. They are enacted in Federal statutes as well as the statutes of each of the agreeing States. Among other things, interstate stream compacts apportion the waters in major streams and their tributaries between or among the agreeing States. These compacts also establish agencies known as Compact Commissions, consisting of one or more commissioners from each State plus one or more non-voting federal commissioners. The Compact Commissions meet annually (at rotating locations in the member States) to receive reports regarding stream flows, amount of water stored in reservoirs, and water quality, and to conduct other business to administer the compact provisions. Compact Commissions are assisted by several standing committees staffed by personnel of appropriate member state agencies. Such committees usually include a budget committee, engineering committee, and legal committee. The Arkansas-Oklahoma Compact Commission and the Red River Compact Commission also include an environmental committee.