Agreement Reached On The Use Of Water From Lake Sardis

Friday, August 12th 2016, 6:38 pm
By: Karl Torp

News 9 has learned more details on the water rights agreement made between Oklahoma, OKC and the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations.

In 2011, the Choctaws and Chickasaws sued OKC over the water rights at Sardis Lake in Southeastern Oklahoma. 

They claimed the water was part of their treaties territory and therefore they should have the rights.

“This is an historic agreement,” said Gov. Bill Anoatubby of the Chickasaw Nation Thursday.

Under the agreement, the state of Oklahoma has the authority to manage the water at Sardis Lake.

8/11/16 Related Story: Indian Tribes, Oklahoma Reach Deal On Water Rights Dispute

But the Choctaws and Chickasaws will also get a say, including decisions made on whether to sell the water at Sardis.

“They will also get a lake level management trust for Sardis Reservoir, which is important,” said OKC City Manager Jim Couch.

Right now, OKC has water rights to Lake Overholser, Lake Hefner and Lake Stanley Draper.

Outside Oklahoma City, the city can draw from Canton Lake, McGee Reservoir and Lake Atoka. 

Lake Sardis will be added to the list once the agreement is approved by Congress.

The City says Sardis is years away from being able to draw from it, but the legal block is now clear.