Environment | Law

Oklahoma tribes won't dispute existing water use permits





The Choctaw Nation and the Chickasaw Nation say they won't challenge existing water use permits as part of their treaty rights lawsuit.

The tribes filed an amended complaint in federal court that reiterates their position to determine future water rights. That means a state court won't need to resolve existing uses, the tribes say.

“The Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations have no interest in and won’t be disrupting existing permitted uses of water,” attorney Mike Burrage told the Associated Press. “Our complaint is designed to stop what we believe is an unlawful and unwise rush to export water from southeastern Oklahoma.”

The tribes are trying to stop the Oklahoma Water Resources Board from selling its water storage rights to Sardis Lake. The tribes say they are the owners of the water under their treaties.

Get the Story:
Okla. tribes seek federal ruling in water lawsuit (AP 1/26)
Tribes drop claim to existing permits in Oklahoma water rights case (The Oklahoman 1/27)

Related Stories:
Judge pushes Oklahoma tribal water lawsuit into mediation (11/14)

Editorial: Reaching consensus with tribes on water supply (6/7)
Editorial: Oklahoma tribes threaten legal action over water (4/13)
Choctaw Nation and Chickasaw Nation assert rights to water (4/12)
Choctaw Nation prepared to take action over transfer of lake (6/11)
Choctaw Nation expresses interest in taking control of lake (5/19)