The Oklahoma Water Resources Board has voted to transfer the state's water storage contract for Sardis Lake in southeast Oklahoma to Oklahoma City.
The board voted 5-2 Friday to transfer the contract despite protests from leaders of tribes in the region and southeastern Oklahoma lawmakers. The state owes the federal government more than $22 million in connection with the construction of the lake during the 1970s and 1980s. The transfer means the city is responsible for the debt.
State Sen. Jerry Ellis of Valliant says he believes the issue is about selling water to Texas. Choctaw Nation Chief Greg Pyle and former Attorney General Larry Derryberry, who represents Oklahomans for Responsible Water Policy, say they may go to court to stop the transfer.