OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A state agency is restricting the amount of water that can be taken from the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer to one-tenth of the amount historically allowed.
The Oklahoma Water Resources Board issued the landmark ruling last week.
The Oklahoman reports that it places a new annual cap of .2 acre-feet per acre of land on the amount of water ranchers and other water rights holders can withdraw from the aquifer basin each year.
The aquifer underlies areas in Murray, Pontotoc, Johnston, Garvin, Coal and Carter counties in south central Oklahoma.
The decision is designed to protect the continued free flow of springs and streams that supply such popular tourism destinations as Turner Falls, as well as preserve the sustainability of the water supply to Ada, Ardmore, Durant and several other cities.