Category Archives: Water Law

August 29, 2014 Weekly Round Up

I spent last week running all over the state for presentations once again.  On Monday I was in Amarillo to discuss managing oil and gas contracts for farms and ranches, Tuesday found me in Georgetown discussing water law, Thursday I headed to San Antonio to discuss current hot topics in Agricultural Law with the South Texas Farm and Ranch Club, and finally on Friday I was in McKinney discussing drafting hunting leases at the North Texas Wildlife Management Program.  Thanks to the organizers of each event for the… Read More →

August 15, 2014 Weekly Round Up

This week I was literally all across the state of Texas at various programs.  From Monahans discussing oil and gas leasing, pipeline easement negotiations, and water law, to Caldwell speaking on groundwater ownership, to Diboll discussing eminent domain and pipeline easements for forest landowners, to Corrigan on Friday discussing grazing leases, water law, and generational transfer.  Each stop had an outstanding turn out and great participants who were engaged and interested in the topics.  Folks like that make my job more fun!  A big thanks to all of… Read More →

August 8, 2014 Weekly Round Up

It has been another busy week for me.  On Monday I was in Dallas speaking at the noon meeting of the Dallas Agricultural Club, the oldest agricultural club in Texas (founded in 1925) on current hot topics in agricultural law.  It was a great group who asked wonderful questions.  On Wednesday I was able to speak during the Ag Business Management Section at the Texas A&M University Beef Cattle Short Course on pipeline easement negotiations.  This is my second year speaking at Short Course and once again I found… Read More →

July 25, 2014 Weekly Round Up

It has been a warm, humid week here in Aggieland!  Here are a few ag law stories making the news recently. * Plaintiffs’ Attorney Explains Case Against Prius Audit Firm.  An attorney representing 46 plaintiffs who were injured or killed from a 2011 listeria outbreak traced to a cantaloupe farm in Colorado wrote a very interesting blog about the suits his clients have filed against the audit firm who gave the farm a superior rating in the days just before the tainted fruit was shipped.  The attorney discusses the facts, legal… Read More →

July 18, 2014 Weekly Round Up

This week we have an interesting mix of ag law in the news. *Augustin Plains Ranch LLC Files Another Water Use Application in New Mexico.  Augustin Plains Ranch LLC has filed another application to drill 37 wells and pipe 17 million gallons of water per year from rural western New Mexico to the Bernalillo County.  A similar proposal was rejected by the State Engineer in 2012 finding it too broad and too vague.  Numerous ranchers, landowners, environmental groups, and irrigation districts opposed the application in 2012–one of the most contested applications in New Mexico history–fearing… Read More →

July 11, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Yesterday, I had the great opportunity to speak at the American Quarter Horse Association’s Youth Excellence Seminar here in College Station.  It does not seem like that long ago I was going to these type of conferences as a 4-H and FFA member!  I hate to pick favorites, but I’ll admit that was the most fun presentation that I’ve given.  The kids asked great questions, had thoughtful debates, and were extremely interested in the ag law issues raised.  Looking at the 40 young people in that room, I’d say our future is in… Read More →

Texas Water Law in the National News

This week, Texas water law has been prominently in the national news.   NBC published a story called “The Last Drop: America’s Breadbasket Faces Dire Water Crisis.”  [Read article here.] This article discussed the prolonged drought in the Texas Panhandle and the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer.  The article outlines numerous causes of the water crisis, including drought, population growth, agricultural irrigation, and Texas water law. The article accurately explains Texas groundwater law, governed by the right of capture, which provides that a landowner owns the groundwater beneath his property.  Importantly, as… Read More →

5th Circuit Rules for TCEQ in Whooping Crane Case

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision last week in Aransas Project v. Shaw, an important case involving claims that the TCEQ’s issuance of water rights permits violated the Endangered Species Act. Background In 2008 and 2009, 23 whooping cranes, which are considered endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act, allegedly died in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.  This information was based on a survey by biologists.  Only four carcasses were actually located. In 2010, The Aransas Project, and environmental group filed suit claiming that the birds’ deaths… Read More →

July 3, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Last week I was in Denton, Texas speaking at the Denton County Agricultural Law Program.  County Extension Agent Brandon Boughen put together a great program for participants that included Wayne Hayenga on estate planning and myself discussing water law and agricultural leases.  Thanks to Brandon for all of his hard work! It has been a very busy week for news related to agricultural law.  Major decisions were issued by the New York Court of Appeals regarding local agencies’ rights to prohibit oil and gas production (read blog here) and by… Read More →

June 20, 2014 Weekly Round Up

This has been a busy week!  On Monday evening, I was in Wheeler, Texas giving a presentation on estate and succession planning.  County Agent Dale Dunlap invited me to come and I was impressed with the great questions from the audience on these important issues. On Tuesday, I headed for Boston for the Universities Council on Water Resources Conference at Tufts, University.  I was fortunate to present on two panels at the conference.  On Tuesday, I spoke along with Dr. Ari Michelsen of Texas A&M and Dr. Brian Hurd… Read More →