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Louisiana Water Compacts

red river compact commission

The Red River Compact Commission meets annually, and is made up of nine members: the director of the state water agency and a governor-appointed basin resident for each state involved in the Compact. These eight members are joined by a President-appointed federal representative who does not vote, but  acts in an advisory role as the Commission chairman. The official commission members are joined by members of state and federal agencies, as well as third parties, who support in administering provisions of the Compact. The Commission has also established a standing environmental committee.


The next  annual meeting is tentatively set for April 23-24 and will be held in Arkansas.

Negotiations on the Red River Compact were authorized by Congress in 1955. In 1978, the Compact was signed by member states, ratified by Congress, and signed by the President, making it representative of state and federal law. The Compact's aim is to resolve and prevent disputes over waters of the Red River Basin that are shared between the neighboring states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, and to assure the receipt by member states of adequate surface flows and releases

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Red River Waterway Commission 

States in the compact host State Computation Control Centers, established by representatives of the  State Engineering Committee. State Engineering representatives work with the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey, and the State to collect diversion and streamflow gaging data on a set basis to be reviewed by the Engineering Committee. Using this data, the Engineering Committee determines state compliance with the Compact.

Each state is responsible for enforcing restrictions imposed by the RRC, which includes establishing the clear legal authority to do so.
The main purpose of the Compact is to try and prevent litigation by     providing a practical means of apportioning water, developing navigation, regulating river flows, and addressing pollution control and conservation, along the enforcement of any related laws. 
  • Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann - 2013 
    This Supreme Court case addressed issues of state sovereignty that dealt specifically with water diversion and cross-border rights between Oklahoma and Texas.

  • Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act - 2017
    Passed in response to land disputes between landowners and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management 
    along a 116 mile area of the Red River, land surveys were ordered to identify the legal land boundaries between public and private land.


sabine river compact commission

The Sabine River Compact Commission is made up of five members: two govenor-appointed state representatives from each state involved in the Compact. These four members are joined by a President-appointed federal  representative who does not vote, but  acts in an advisory role as the Commission chairman.

These official commission members meet annually as part of the Sabine River Compact Administration (SRCA). Other members of the SRCA are engineering and budget standing committees, along with and federal agencies, who support in administering provisions of the Compact. 


The next  annual meeting will be held at 8:30am on October 6 at the Courtyard Marriott in San Marcos, TX. 

Follow this link to review the meeting agenda. 


water code

In 1953, the Sabine River Compact was signed by member states Texas and Louisiana. The Compact was ratified by Congress, and signed by the President, making it representative of state and federal law.
The Compact's aim is to resolve and prevent disputes over waters of the Sabine River and its tributaries though conservation and utilization efforts. 

U.S. Geological Survey, Sabine River Authority, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Rules for state compliance with the Sabine River Compact can be found in Article V of the Sabine River Compact. 
Rules for interpreting the terms, powers, and duties delineated to the Sabine River Compact Administration can be found in Article VII of the Sabine River Compact. 
  • Texas and Louisiana citizens file suit against the Sabine Rive Authority following floodgate releases - 2016 
    Texas and Louisiana citizens are claiming that floodgate releases by the Sabine River Authority (SRA) following floods in March 2016 were committed with the intent to harm without intending to provide reasonable compensation. The SRA is maintaining that their actions complied with operational guidelines. 
  • Dallas v. Sabine Water Authority - 2016 
    Following continuing disputes between Dallas, TX and the SRA about rising wholesale water prices for the city, the city filed suit against SRA for breach of contract. The District Court of Travis County held in favor of SRA, granting them governmental immunity. The Texas Court of Appeals, Third District upheld the trial court's judgment. 
  • Crump v. Sabine River Authority - 1998
    Crump, a Texas landowner, filed suit against the SRA for property damage after a unauthorized canal was built by a third party on SRA property, which lies adjacent to the defendant's land. The Louisiana Court of Appeal, Third District, affirmed the trial court's damage awards in Crump's favor, but modified the judgment by fixing the damage amounts and issuing a mandatory injunction to be issued against the SRA. 
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