Heavy rains this year may have shoved the issue into the background for those of us who live in Pontotoc County, but water remains one of our more critical considerations for whatever the future holds for our area.

To their credit, legislators several years ago passed House Bill 288 requiring a thorough study of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer, its capacity and how much mining it can stand before being depleted.

This all came up because Canadian County had a problem with too much arsenic in its water supply and was forced by the Environmental Protection Agency to seek another, purer source. Someone there cast a greedy eye on the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer, this region's water supply.

Ranchers who owned land on top of this life sustaining resource did what virtually anyone of us under similar circumstances would have done because it was allowed by nonsensical Oklahoma law. They agreed to sell water beneath them at the legally allowed rate of two acre feet per acre.

Water experts quickly pointed out that there was one big problem with this notion. In a word, if Canadian County had its way, there may not be enough water for those of us in Southeast Oklahoma who depend on it.

We can do without a lot of things. Water isn't one of them.

The five-year scientific study commissioned by state legislators should soon be completed. In the end, though, what concerns us is not the science, but the politics that may follow the science.

Whereas the former water mining laws were much too liberal, those close to the situation speculate the end result may go the other way and end up too restrictive. Most things operate like a figurative pendulum.

First it swings widely in one direction. Seeing this, those in control overreact and force it to swing too widely in the opposite direction. Only later do cooler heads prevail and allow it to settle somewhere in the middle.

Our hope is that those who control our state water laws skip the part that forces our �water mining law pendulum� to make another wild move.

It would be visionary of them to let it settle in the middle now rather than needlessly having to endure an over corrective swing in the opposite direction.

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