Lawmakers Question Validity Of MOU With Texas Affecting Lake Tex - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Lawmakers Question Validity Of MOU With Texas Affecting Lake Texoma

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OKLAHOMA CITY – State Reps. Tommy Hardin and Dustin Roberts today questioned the validity of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in January between Oklahoma and Texas that will affect the water level at Lake Texoma.

The state lawmakers cited three statutes in a letter to J. D. Strong, the executive director of the Oklahoma Water Resource Board.

82 O.S. Section 105.12 states that the Oklahoma Water Resource Board should evaluate an application before granting water rights. In the letter, the lawmakers questioned whether Texas had applied for and been granted a permit to take water out of Oklahoma by the board. The lawmakers also questioned whether the citizens of Oklahoma been given an opportunity to appeal or protest.

The lawmakers also cited 82 O.S. Section 105.12A, which requires the Oklahoma legislative approval. In the letter, they asked if the Oklahoma Legislature has authorized the Oklahoma portion of the Red River water to be used to supplement the Texas portion in the event the Red River doesn't flow 400,000 acre feet of water into Lake Texoma.

Finally, in the letter, they cited 82 O.S. Section 1086.1 and asked: Tourism having the third largest impact on our economy and our statutes directing the development of water usage for Oklahoma, how can we allow Texas to use waters to the detriment of our economy.

 "The Memorandum of Understanding seems to have a lot of problems in addition to being bad for Southern Oklahoma," said Hardin, R-Madill. "The current water level is so low that we are going to have unusable docks and ramps, which will hurt our local economy around the lake."

 "Lake tourism will suffer," said Roberts, R-Durant. "There are a number of protections in statute to ensure water is not given away when it is needed in Oklahoma. The current situation seems to indicate the MOU is not valid."