Attorney General Drew Edmondson today said Oklahoma has won another round in its battle to protect its water resources.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma last week granted Edmondson’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit by the cities of Hugo, Okla., and Irving, Texas, claiming Oklahoma water law violates the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause.
“Hugo wants to sell Oklahoma water to Irving, Texas,” Edmondson said. “Oklahoma law requires legislative approval before this can happen. Hugo and Irving claim this requirement is unconstitutional. The court today said it is not.”
The ruling comes after another federal court last year upheld the constitutionality of the Oklahoma law in a case filed by the Tarrant Regional Water District. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma in November 2009 granted Edmondson’s motion to dismiss that lawsuit.
While his office has successfully fended off Texas’ attempts to gain access to Oklahoma water, Edmondson cautioned that more legal battles loom on the horizon.
“We have been successful thus far in these cases,” Edmondson said, “but we know the water wars on not yet won. We are blessed with an abundance of this important resource and it is imperative that the state complete its comprehensive water plan so that future generations of Oklahomans will have access to clean, plentiful water.”