Oklahoma Water Statutes Trump Texas Compacts

Jun 16, 2013


A recent Supreme Court ruling found the interstate water compact between the states of Texas and Oklahoma does not supersede Oklahoma's water statues.  Recent stories from State Impact Texas, provide the legal document and insight from Gabriel Eckstein, law professor and water expert, as well as Sara Tran, SMU law professor.

At the heart of the six year court battle, the State of Texas wanted to obtain water upstream in Oklahoma because the Red River was no longer flowing reliably into Texas.  Oklahoma passed laws to ban the request.  The high court upheld the Oklahoma state laws.  This decision was closely watched by neighboring states, as a ruling against Oklahoma would have set a precedent for loss of state control over water rights.