The New York Times

By Felicity Barringer     August 19, 2011

The Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian tribes in Oklahoma have filed a federal lawsuit to protect water rights they say derived from long-ago treaties and to prevent exports of water from their traditional homelands without their permission.

he dispute had been simmering for more than a year, since the export of water from Sardis Lake in southeastern Oklahoma to Oklahoma City was proposed in June 2010.

The lawsuit, filed late Wednesday in United States District Court in Oklahoma City, accuses the State of Oklahoma of one-sided action to deprive the tribes of water rights they have held since the 1830s. It names the governor, the state water agency, Oklahoma City and that city’s water utility as defendants.

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