Category Archives: Water Law

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: TCEQ Action in Kimble County

***This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.*** Today we have our second post in the “Questions from Tiffany’s Desk” series.  In the past week, I have gotten four calls and emails asking questions similar to the one below.   Question:  We read an article in the paper.  What is going on in Kimble County with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”) ordering a rancher to remove a dam from a stream on private property?  What is the law regarding building dams across streams on… Read More →

Texas Water: Basics of Groundwater Law

***This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.*** Today we will continue on in our Texas Water series by looking at the law applicable to Texas groundwater.  Be sure to check out the prior posts on Texas surface water law and on current issues in Texas surface water if you missed them. What is groundwater?  Groundwater is defined as “water percolating below the surface of the earth” but not including subterranean streams or rivers.  (Note:  Like above ground rivers, subterranean rivers in Texas would be state-0wned. … Read More →

October 18, 2013 Weekly Round Up

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Here are a look at some of the stories related to agricultural law in the news this week.   1.  A bill, titled the Water Rights Protection Act, has been introduced in the United States Congress that would prohibit the US Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of the Interior from conditioning any permit, lease, or other right to use federal property upon the granting of a water right to the United States.   [Read proposed bill here.]  The American… Read More →

Texas Water: Current Issues in Surface Water Law

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Thank you all for your comments and emails about last week’s blog post on the basics of surface water law in Texas.  With that background, today we will turn to discuss several current issues related to surface water.   1. The Whooping Crane Case.  A case currently pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit could greatly impact surface water law in Texas.  Aransas Project v. Shaw surrounds decisions made regarding allocation of… Read More →

October 4, 2013 Weekly Round Up

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** I spent this week traveling across Texas for various presentations and meetings.  I enjoyed the chance to speak to the Texas Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers in Wichita Falls  about current water legislation and litigation on Monday and to a group of landowners in Jack County about eminent domain and pipeline easement negotiations on Tuesday evening.  To those of you who are new to the blog from those events, welcome! … Read More →

Texas Water: Basics of Surface Water Law

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** In Texas, water law is basically divided into two categories:  groundwater and surface water.  Today, we will take a look at the basics of surface water law. Surface Water Defined. Surface water includes all of the “water under ordinary flow, underflow and tides of every flowing river, natural stream, lake, bay, arm of the Gulf of Mexico, and stormwater, floodwater or rain water of every river, natural stream, canyon, ravine, depression, and watershed in the state.”  Texas Water… Read More →

September 20, 2013 Weekly Round Up

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Here are a couple of ag law stories making the news this week. *  Texas water law has been in the national news.   The New York Times ran an article last week discussing Texas water law in light of the Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Bragg decision.  [Read article here.]  If you missed the summary of the Bragg decision previously on this blog, click here. *  Water flow to Matagorda Bay may be curtailed.  On Wednesday, the Lower… Read More →

Texas Water Wars: Texas v. New Mexico

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Today we turn to our third and final post in the Texas Water Wars series.  Here are links to the first two posts in this series:  United States v. Mexico and Texas v. Oklahoma. Background In 1938, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado entered into the Rio Grande Compact (“the Compact”) to allocate water from the Rio Grande between the three states.  The Compact requires that New Mexico deliver water into the Elephant Butte Reservoir.  At that point, the United… Read More →

September 13, 2013 Weekly Round Up

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Here are some of the agricultural law stories making news this second week of September. *  Texas Groundwater Summit Presentations.  A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Texas Groundwater Summit in San Marcos.  It was a great conference put on by the Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts.  The presentations ranged from discussions about the basic authority of Groundwater Conservation Districts, to legal updates, to House Bill 4, to the potential use of brackish water, to… Read More →

September 6, 2013 Weekly Round Up

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Yesterday I attended the 40th Annual Sheep and Goat Field Day in San Angelo, Texas.  It was a great turn out and a great program.  Welcome to the new followers who attended the Field Day. Here’s a look at some of the ag law-related stories making news this week. *  New York’s highest appellate court will decide whether municipalities have the right to ban fracking.  In New York, the regulation of oil and gas production is… Read More →