Introduction of a new tool to help managers make critical water decisions concerning the Red river Basin between to USA and Canada. Read on:
“Understanding the facts makes it easier to achieve cooperative solutions to complex problems such as managing nutrient pollution,” said IJC U.S. Section Chair Lana Pollack. “A geographic display of information can be a powerful aid to understanding the facts.”
The supreme Court will rule on Tarrant v Hermann soon. Here is some background on the issue. State sovereignty over its resources is at stake and could set a new precedent for other regional water compact disputes like Arizona or California. Here is an excerpt from Dallas paper:
The central question in Tarrant Regional Water District vs. Hermann is whether the Supreme Court will uphold the Red River Compact, a 35-year-old pact that sets markers on how Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana share water from the river. Each state signed the compact, and Congress approved it in 1978.
Among other points, the agreement stipulates that Texas has access to certain water basins in Oklahoma, just as Oklahoma has access to specific Texas basins. Oklahoma, however, has denied the Tarrant Regional Water District the right to seek a permit for its share of the water from one of the basins the compact covers.
The Tarrant district rightly has pressed this case all the way to the Supreme Court.
The justices may be tempted by sovereignty arguments that were used by Oklahoma legislators to sustain a moratorium on the sale or transfer of water from Oklahoma to Texas. Here’s the problem with that line of reasoning: Whenever a state enters into a compact, it by definition loses some of its sovereign rights. Chief Justice John Roberts emphasized that reality during oral arguments in this case back in April.
Flooding of Mississippi river and its tributaries, drought in the Southwest and low/high water levels of the Great Lakes, water is in the news:
“On one side was Texas, accused of trying to divert water from Oklahoma under terms of a four-state compact that entitled each state up to 25% of the Red River’s bounty. On the other side was Oklahoma, asserting that Texas can get the water from within its borders or elsewhere.
The battle is being watched closely by other states with similar interstate compacts, such as the one the two states share with Arkansas and Louisiana. There are as many as 50 such compacts, mostly in the West, and at least nine with similar provisions.”
Read on ….
About time we collaborated to map border regions hydrographic contextual cartography: The IJC, in collaboration with Environment Canada, Agriculture Agr-Food Canada, USGS, MBWS, ND and MN have been coordinating the harmonization of the framework hydrographic datasets along the Canadian – US boundary. One immediate value added is our ability to now focus on the contextual geography of our shared waters, moving away from silos of information. Building off the harmonized geospatial framework, the IJC is moving forward with the development and implementation of web map services: these web services (see example of how the IJC is serving up the information in the link below) give the public the opportunity to view data and attributable information in one service. Users of this map service can zoom, pan, and view gaging information- a first step. http://ijc.projectstagingserver.com/en/Detailed_Red_Riverhttp://redriverbasincommission.org/IJC_Map/ijc_map.html