Chicken-Fried News: Water settlement 

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It’s unlikely that most Oklahoma City residents have visited Sardis Lake, a reservoir located in both Pushmataha and Latimer counties.

It’s a good three-hour drive into southeastern Oklahoma before arriving at the lake about five miles outside Clayton.

However, the lake comes up in many talks about the future of OKC’s water.

It’s a topic that spurs debate and resulted in multiple court filings, including a 2011 lawsuit by Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes.

The tribes argued Oklahoma Water Resources Board “had no right to consider an offer to use water from traditional Native American homeland.”

The state countersued, hoping for a ruling outlining where the tribes’ rights began and ended, according to the Associated Press.

On a sunny August day, leaders from the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations, along with state and OKC officials, announced there was no need for court action.

According to StateImpact Oklahoma, the 88-page agreement brings tribal leaders to the table on important future water issues and gives OKC the opportunity to pump water from Sardis Lake for residents.

Additionally, the tribes agree to drop their claims of ownership and control over the water in southeast Oklahoma.

Before any leader crosses the conflict off their “To Do” list, federal lawmakers must take a look.

The agreement will become final with Congressional approval.

Print headline: Water settlement

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