U.S. House bill would allow water purchases for Lake Thunderbird

Rep. Tom Cole says severe droughts require that water be purchased from Oklahoma City to allow for continued growth in central Oklahoma cities.
by Chris Casteel Modified: June 5, 2012 at 6:25 pm •  Published: June 6, 2012
Advertisement
;

The U.S. House passed legislation on Tuesday to allow more water storage at Lake Thunderbird to offset the effect of droughts and keep pace with growth in central Oklahoma cities that rely on the reservoir.

The bill, by Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, was approved without dissent and would allow the Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District, which operates and maintains the lake under contract with the federal government, to purchase water from Oklahoma City's Atoka Reservoir. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, is sponsoring a similar bill in the Senate.

Cole said Tuesday that the watershed that feeds the Norman-area lake hasn't been able to keep the lake full and that the water remaining during recent severe droughts is ill-suited for drinking or recreation.

The legislation is necessary because the federal law that established the lake and a dam didn't provide for water transfers from outside of the basin. Norman, Midwest City and Del City get water from the lake.

“Water must be available to support the continued growth in the region,” Cole said.

The cost of any water purchased would be borne by the conservancy district. The bill does not increase the capacity of the lake.


by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
+ show more

Advertisement


Trending Now



AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Herschel Walker says he could still play in NFL
  2. 2
    School Bus, Motorcycle Crash In NW OKC - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and...
  3. 3
    Oldest living former MLB player dies at 102
  4. 4
    Oklahoma football: Bob Stoops stops by Kentucky practice
  5. 5
    Grizzlies' Courtney Lee says Memphis likes Westbrook taking shots
+ show more