Tuesday, December 20, 2016
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today issued the following statement after the President signed into law the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act. Among other items, the WIIN Act includes the water agreement between Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, and the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations.
“I am thrilled this critically important piece of legislation has become law. Among many things helpful to Oklahoma, the WIIN Act includes the water rights agreement reached this past summer with the state of Oklahoma, the city of Oklahoma City, and the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. Now, thanks to the hard work of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation and the visionary leadership of the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations and Oklahoma City, existing uses of water remain secure, at the same time that certainty for future development is provided.
“I want to particularly recognize the excellent legal work and the leadership of Attorney General Scott Pruitt and his team in making this agreement happen. The orderly management, conservation and development of the waters in southeast Oklahoma was the goal of all parties to the settlement, and it wouldn’t have happened without General Pruitt.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The water rights agreement covers an area that spans approximately 22 counties in south-central and southeastern Oklahoma, and provides a framework that fosters intergovernmental collaboration on significant water resource concerns within the settlement area. The settlement also protects existing water rights and affirms the state’s role in water rights permitting and administration. In addition, it will implement a robust system of lake level release restrictions to allow Oklahoma City’s measured use of Sardis Lake for municipal supply purposes, while continuing to support regionally critical recreation, fish and wildlife uses.