November 15, 2005 - Issue: Vol. 151, No. 151 — Daily Edition109th Congress (2005 - 2006) - 1st Session
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. ____________________