Urgent action is required to protect and conserve water resources in Oklahoma and Texas during the ongoing multi year drought spanning to date 2011 – 2014. Federal laws must be updated / changed to accommodate the continually reduced levels on federally owned water reservoirs by providing effective and preemptive natural and manmade drought controls,management and conservation to address modern and future conditions.
Current laws that govern these federally owned lakes were written more than 70 years ago primarily for flood control during a time that did not consider major population increases and economic development. The laws are outdated and do nothing to preserve water for current or future generations, especially during ongoing periods of drought.
While “Green Energy” is the latest initiative by the federal government to save the Earth’s environment, the use of water renewability must be balanced with climate conditions when determining the extent of water usage to generate power. Using scarce water to generate electricity, during severe droughts, when there are better alternatives, such as plentiful and clean-burning natural gas, is an irresponsible use of natural resources.
Amend federal laws, such as Public Law 100-71, or enact other federal legislation to add drought control and conservation to federal reservoir project purposes. Project policy should include the implementation of more effective drought control, management and water conservation safeguards such as reservoir capacity, supply/demand pricing and lake elevations on federally owned water reservoirs in Oklahoma and Texas. Sustainable water resources must be one of the national and regional priorities particularly in serious drought conditions.