State of Oklahoma, Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

State of Oklahoma, Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

State of Oklahoma, Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, City of Oklahoma City Water Settlement (“Tribal Water Settlement”) Tribal Water Set...

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State of Oklahoma, Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, City of Oklahoma City Water Settlement (“Tribal Water Settlement”)

Tribal Water Settlement 

Settles Litigation: o


Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation v. Fallin et al., CIV 11-927 (W.D. Ok.) •

Resolves disputes related to ownership, regulatory control, and use of water by the Nations

State-wide and specifically w/in 22 county area historically claimed as “treaty territory” (“Settlement Area”)

OWRB v. United States, et al., CIV 12-275 (W.D. Ok.) •

General stream adjudication

Tribal Water Settlement 

State: o OWRB retains water permitting & administration state-wide • Including in Settlement Area o Existing water rights protected o State’s debt obligations resolved

OKC: o Provide OKC w/ assured long-term water supply • Appropriation of 115,000 AFY from Kiamichi R. natural flow/stored releases from Sardis • Nations agree not to protest/object to OKC’s Proposed Permit

Allottees: o Agreement provides for certain surface water and groundwater uses (administered by OWRB, but appealable to Federal Court) o Additional water rights - may use State appropriation process or go to Federal Court to determine extent of Federal right

Tribal Water Settlement Nations:  Long-term protection of Settlement Area water needs (including tourism & recreation)  Role in technical evaluation of major water transfers prior to OWRB approval

 


If proposed transfer exceeds conferral threshold, OWRB must use Adequate Hydrologic Model to inform permitting decision (in addition to State statutes/rules)


If no Adequate Hydrologic Model exists, then Technical Committee (1 Tribal member/1 State member) helps develop a model

Incorporates State law protections of springs/streams emanating from Arbuckle-Simpson Nations’ concerns regarding proposed OKC permit addressed o OKC stipulated permit requirements • Sardis Lake Level Management Plan • No diversion if flow is < 50 cfs • 20,000 AF administrative set-aside for local use o Additional OKC conservation measures o Atoka and Sardis Conservation Projects Fund

Tribal Water Settlement Nations (Continued):  Nations’ Groundwater use o Existing GW uses • Recognized in Agreement o New or modified GW uses on Trust Lands • Process in Agreement applies (notice to OWRB, well-spacing, EPS) o New or modified GW uses on Non-Trust Lands • State law applies  Nations’ Surface Water use o No existing SW uses o Future SW uses • 500 AF per basin in Settlement Area w/o permit

Tribal Water Settlement 

Out-of-state water use: o Legislative authorization required under existing State law o Settlement Commission established to evaluate proposals and submit report to Legislature • Chickasaw Nation and Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma represented o OWRB permit required o Water Preservation Fund • Any money generated from out-of-state water transfers would go into a fund for public water infrastructure projects • OWRB ranks/approves project applications • Projects from Settlement Area receive priority

Remaining process: o Federal agency approval o Congressional/Presidential approval (Federal legislation enacted)