Water is one of life's essential elements, but some require more than others to support their activities. Recent efforts by communities in other parts of the state to purchase and pipe water from the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer near Ada have heightened the awareness of the importance of fresh water.
How Much is Too Much?
"The issue of concern is not whether or not landowners should be able to sell their water. They can. The issue is how much water can be pumped from the Aquifer each year without affecting the springs and streams adversely and how much is the proportional share of each water rights owner."
Who Owns it and Who Wants It
Although Ada has enjoyed fresh and clean water for decades, communities northwest of Ada have not been so fortunate. Seven of those communities are trying to change their situation and have formed the Central Oklahoma Water Resource Authority which has an agreement with an Oklahoma City company called PESA LLC.
Alternative Water Supply?
Should Ada have an alternative water supply in case of a major catastrophe? Newly-elected Ada City Council member Barbara Young says yes. "It is intelligent to plan for the future. So, if your sole source of water is threatened in any way, you should be planning for an alternative supply."
Are There Ample Supplies?
During the drought of the 1950's, the city did several studies of the water situation and in 1959 passed a $1.5 million bond issue to drill three wells directly into the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer and to improve the pipeline from Byrd's Mill to Ada, making it more efficient. A booster station was also added.
The Role Of The OWRB
Southeast Oklahoma ranchers say they want to be treated fairly when it comes to selling their water. "My rights should be no different than the City of Ada," said Bill Jacobs, one of those ranchers. "The law states individual landowners have rights and the City of Ada has rights."