Category Archives: Water Law

Railroad Commission Sides with Oil Company Against Groundwater Conservation District

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Last week, the Texas Railroad Commission heard an important dispute regarding whether local groundwater conservation districts have the right to protest disposal well permits.  Background In order to drill a disposal well, a company must obtain a permit from the Railroad Commission of Texas.  Frequently, local Groundwater Conservation Districts challenge these permits, citing concerns about contamination of groundwater.  This is particularly true in the Eagle Ford Shale region, where some GCDs challenge every disposal well petition in their area seeking to… Read More →

May 23, 2014 Weekly Round Up

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Last week, I spoke to a large group of West Texas ranchers at the 5th Annual NRCS Rancher’s Workshop in Mertzon about key oil and gas and pipeline easement concepts for landowners.  It was a great program and I appreciate Jaime Tankersley inviting me to participate!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week.  Welcome to those of you joining from that presentation. *  TCEQ Proposal Could Further Limit Water For Rice… Read More →

May 16, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Last week I spoke to a group of landowners at the Western Navarro Bobwhite Recovery Initiative Spring Meeting in Blooming Grove.  Blake Alldredge planned a great meeting at a wonderful location and I enjoyed the opportunity to attend.  On Tuesday, I was in Simonton to present on leasing issues at the Upper Gulf Coast Ranch Exposition.  I appreciate all of the hard work that Greg Kaase put in to get this program put together and enjoyed the chance to visit with the producers.  To those of you joining from these presentations,… Read More →

Public Right of Use for Texas Waterways

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Two weeks ago, I wrote about a New Mexico Attorney General opinion dealing with the right of the public to fish on streams running across private land in New Mexico.  Today, we will look at this issue under Texas law. The Question Does someone in Texas have the right to fish (or canoe, kayak, etc.) on a stream or other body of water flowing across private property? The Law Regarding Ownership of Streambeds The answer to this… Read More →

Free Webinar on Texas Water Law

On Thursday, May 1, 2014, the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service will be offering a free webinar on Texas water law.  The webinar, presented by Professor Ron Kaiser, will discuss the basic law surrounding surface and groundwater in Texas.  The webinar will begin at 12:00 noon and last one hour.  For more information, click here.  

New Mexico Attorney General Opinion Concerns Landowners

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Earlier this month, New Mexico Attorney General Gary King issued an opinion that has raised praise from wildlife groups and concern from private landowner groups across the state.  The opinion was issued in response to the following question:  May a private landowner exclude others from fishing in a public stream that flows across the landowner’s property? “No,” was King’s answer, “[a] private landowner cannot prevent persons from fishing in a public stream that flows across the… Read More →

April 25, 2014 Weekly Round Up

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* This week I was able to attend two county meetings and visit with folks about agricultural leases, oil and gas leasing, and pipeline easement negotiations.  Thanks to County Extension Agents Cooper Terrill in Falls County and Aaron Low in Cherokee County for the invitation and for putting together two great programs.  Welcome to the new blog readers who attended these meetings! There was a lot of ag law action going on across Texas this week.  Here are… Read More →

EPA’s Proposed Rule Defining “Waters of the United States” Causes Controversy

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* In addition to my usual disclaimer, please not that I am not an expert on the Clean Water Act or the EPA’s regulations implementing the Act.  This blog is intended merely to highlight the current issue and provide basic information. The Environmental Protection Agency recently drafted a proposed rule defining “waters of the United States” with regard to its interpretation of the Clean Water Act.  This proposed amendment has caused a great deal of controversy. The Clean Water… Read More →

Texas Water Report

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Earlier this year, the Texas Comptroller’s Office put out the Texas Water Report.  This document provides a great overview of a variety of water issues currently going on in Texas.  It covers everything from current court cases to international treaty disputes to water ownership in Texas to the impacts of drought and the oil boom on water supplies.  If you are interested in Texas water issues, I would highly recommend reading over this report, which can… Read More →

New York Times Article Highlights Water Disputes Across the West

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* On Sunday, the New York Times ran an excellent article outlining the ongoing disputes over water across the West.  [Read article here.]  The article covered disputes–many between urban and rural interests–across Texas, Colorado, Nevada, California, and Arizona. Specifically, with regard to Texas, the article went into detail about the Texas Farm Bureau v. TCEQ litigation involving a priority call on the Brazos River.  A quote from Mumford-area farmer Frank DeSefano sums up the feelings of many farmers, “I understand… Read More →