Terraqua - Land Investment

The Land Investor

News and Commentary on Land-based Investment

Supreme Court rules for OK over TX in Interstate Water War

The Supreme Court ruled today that Texas has no right to Oklahoma’s water.   This is a case that has been watched closely by landowners, oil & gas producers and other stakeholders, not just in Oklahoma and Texas, but in other arid western states.

Texas had claimed a 1980 interstate water compact extended to its rights to tap 100 billion gallons of water from within Oklahoma’s southeast corner where the Kiamichi River meets the Red River.  The Red River flows from New Mexico across the Oklahoma-Texas line, into Arkansas and through Louisiana.  Oklahoma maintained its laws limit the ability of an out-of-state entity to tap its resources.

The stakes were huge, with Texas scrapping for water to serve the fast-growing Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  The metroplex is also home to the Barnett Shale and natural gas using hydraulic fracturing, which requires tremendous amounts of water.

The Supreme Court ruled: “The Red River Compact does not pre-empt Okla­homa’s water statutes because the Compact creates no cross-border rights in its signatories for these statutes toinfringe. Nor do Oklahoma’s laws run afoul of the Com­merce Clause. We affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.”  Click here for the opinion.

Justice Alito humorously noted the image of Texas having the right to “go into Oklahoma” was troubling, “I mean, it sounds like they are going to send in the National Guard or the Texas Rangers.”

This entry was posted in ecosystem services, In-Stream Flow, Oklahoma, Texas, Water, Water rights. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


  • Recent Articles

  • Browse Articles by Category

  • Article Archives

  • Subscribe to our mailing list.

  • Contact Terraqua

    1625 Larimer St., Suite 506
    Denver, Colorado 80202