CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 2419, ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006; Congressional Record Vol. 151, No. 151
(Extensions of Remarks - November 15, 2005)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E2364]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




     CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 2419, ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT 
                        APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006

                                 ______
                                 

                               speech of

                             HON. TOM COLE

                              of oklahoma

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, November 9, 2005

  Mr. COLE of Oklahoma. Mr. Speaker, as you know, the Senate version of 
the Fiscal Year 2006 Energy and Water Appropriations Act included a 
provision authorizing the Bureau of Reclamation to work in cooperation 
with the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB), the Central Oklahoma 
Master Conservancy District (COMCD), and local entities to initiate a 
Water Supply Augmentation Feasibility Study at Lake Thunderbird near 
Norman, Oklahoma, and appropriating $300,000 to the Bureau to initiate 
this study. Unfortunately, due to current fiscal constraints and the 
difficult decisions that had to be made in light of these constraints, 
the conferees were forced to remove this provision in the final 
conference report.
  Mr. Speaker, since its construction in 1965, Lake Thunderbird has 
served as a reliable source of municipal and industrial water for three 
communities in my district, including Norman. Preliminary findings by 
the OWRB and the City of Norman indicate that the City's water demands 
will exceed its current combined supply from groundwater and Lake 
Thunderbird within 5 years. In fact, since 1988, Norman has exceeded 
its proportional allocation 12 separate years. Today, all projections 
show that the annual allocation afforded Norman will always be exceeded 
without additional supplies being made available. It is anticipated 
that the two other communities served by Lake Thunderbird may also need 
additional water in the future.
  Appraisal level studies initiated by the Bureau of Reclamation in 
Fiscal Year 2003 support the need for additional water supplies to meet 
the region's future needs. This provision was included in the Senate 
bill to enable the Bureau of Reclamation, in partnership with the OWRB, 
the COMCD and its member cities, to initiate a more in-depth 
feasibility-level study of alternatives to augment the water supplies 
of the COMCD and its member cities. I look forward to working with the 
Chairman and the Bureau of Reclamation to identify any unobligated 
balances within the Bureau's budget that may be released to initiate 
this study.

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