- Associated Press - Thursday, August 11, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Latest on a water-rights settlement between the state of Oklahoma and two Native American tribes (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Oklahoma City officials and the leaders of the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations have announced details of an agreement to settle longstanding lawsuits involving water rights in the tribes’ historic treaty territories in southeastern Oklahoma.

Fallin said Thursday that the agreement provides a framework for intergovernmental collaboration on water resource issues that protects existing water rights. It also calls for a system of lake-level restrictions on Sardis Lake to conserve water resources while also allowing Oklahoma City access to the lake for municipal water supplies.

Fallin says water is critical to promoting economic growth in the region. The governor says the agreement affirms the state’s role in management of the state’s water resources but gives the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations significant roles in water allocation and conservation.


11:40 a.m.

State and tribal leaders are set to formally announce a settlement in a longstanding dispute over water rights in Oklahoma.

Negotiators say an agreement was reached between the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations and the state of Oklahoma over access to Sardis Lake. The reservoir is on tribal land but used as a water source by Oklahoma City.

Details of the agreement will be discussed during a Thursday news conference with Gov. Mary Fallin, Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton, Chickasaw Nation Chief Bill Anoatubby and Attorney General Scott Pruitt. Jim Couch, the city manager in Oklahoma City, also will attend.

The fight stems back to the 19th century, but the current dispute started in 2011, when Oklahoma City sought rights to more water from one of those reservoirs, Sardis Lake.


1 a.m.

Negotiators for two Native American tribes and the state of Oklahoma say they have reached a settlement that would end a modern-day water rights dispute that has its roots in the 19th century.

Negotiators told The Associated Press late Wednesday that under the settlement, Oklahoma would still manage water supplies but acknowledge tribal sovereignty and meet the tribes’ conservation guidelines. Congress must still approve the deal.

The Chickasaw and Choctaw nations have claimed Oklahoma isn’t abiding by the 1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, which gives them authority over water in their jurisdiction. The state says the tribes are ignoring an 1866 pact in which they gave up certain rights after backing the Confederates in the Civil War.

The current fight started in 2011, after Oklahoma City sought rights to more water from Sardis Lake in southeastern Oklahoma.

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