The Museum of the Western Prairie in Altus will host a special exhibit, WATER: Congressional Representation to Protect a Precious Resource, from Feb. 1 to Feb. 27. For the exhibit’s premiere, Oklahoma Water Board member and manager of the Lugert-Altus Irrigation District, Tom Buchanan will discuss the impact of historical and current water policy decision on Southwest Oklahoma. The program will be presented at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4 in the Braddock Gallery of the Museum of the Western Prairie.
Developed by the Carl Albert Center at the University of Oklahoma, the exhibit tells the stories of many of Oklahoma’s dams, reservoirs, and rivers through the lens of legislation and the members of Congress who worked to protect our state’s water in the past as well as those are work for us today. The exhibit and its online resources explore local lakes, rivers, and dams and the efforts of Congress to grapple with both droughts and floods.
“Tom will address several of the provocative questions posed by the exhibit, like ‘Did you know that the United States’ patchwork of water law and rights pits state against state, tribe against tribe, industry against recreation, and city against farm?’ and ‘Did you know that crop irrigation is the number one use of water in Oklahoma?’” explained Jennie Buchanan, Director of the Museum of the Western Prairie. “We are fortune to have the opportunity to hear from someone who is knowledgeable about the water issues in Oklahoma and their impact on Southwest Oklahoma.” The Thursday evening presentation is free and open to the public. The exhibit is presented by the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center and will travel to eleven libraries and museums across Oklahoma through November 2016. The Carl Albert Center is devoted to teaching and research related to the United States Congress and more broadly to strengthening representative democracy through engaged and informed citizens.
Jennie Buchanan is the Director of the Museum of the Western Prairie