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Okla. Supreme Court Sets April 19 Water Hearing (Feb 20, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Supreme Court has scheduled an April 19 hearing on a lawsuit concerning the water rights of two Oklahoma-based American Indian tribes in their historic territories in southeastern Oklahoma.

The state's highest court will hear arguments on the Oklahoma Water Resources Board's request that it assume original jurisdiction over a comprehensive stream adjudication of the water rights of the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations.

The tribes have filed a federal lawsuit to prevent the state and Oklahoma City from transporting water from the region. State and city officials have expressed alarm over the tribe's water rights claims in 22 southeastern Oklahoma counties.

The state's lawsuit asks the Supreme Court to determine who has the right to use stream and surface water in the Kiamichi, Clear Boggy and Muddy Boggy basins.

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