Letter to the editor: Who needs water? Tulsa or Memphis?

For several years, we have heard from people that we need to do some kind of “river development.” About 10 or 12 years ago, there was a faction that wanted what they called “The Channels” to be built. These were man-made islands in the river with hotels, apartments, office buildings, shopping, etc.  – an Atlantic utopia.

Recent talk is about building some kind of low-water dams and putting in all kinds of new things along either side of the river but mainly along the east side.

So when there is talk of river development, it’s not the river they are wanting developed but along the riverbanks.

And there are people who want some new low-water dams built so that there will be water in the river. People need to remember that the Arkansas River actually starts in Colorado and gets its “life” from the snow melt and rainfall in the states it flows through. More precipitation from the sky means a higher water level in the river.

And here is a heartbreaking news flash – Tulsa does not own the Arkansas River! It is shared by the four states it flows through.

Little Rock wouldn’t like it if Tulsa built low-water dams to keep river water here, any more than Tulsa would like it if Wichita, Kansas, did it to keep less water from flowing downstream.

The Arkansas River empties into its bigger sister river, the Mississippi, at Memphis, Tennessee.

So, Memphis needs water from the Arkansas River, too. The Arkansas River is a natural resource owned by no state, city or man.