Category Archives: Water Law

February 26, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Hello and welcome to the last Friday in February!  Earlier this week, I was in College Station speaking along with my friend and colleague, Shannon Ferrell, at a program called Petroleum Production on Agricultural Lands in Texas:  Managing Risks and Opportunities.  We had a great turn out and want to welcome those of you joining us from that presentation!  Now, on to the agricultural law news of the week, much of which is water related today. * Breakdown of the Bragg verdict.  As you read earlier this week, a… Read More →

Jury Awards $2.5 Million to Braggs

A jury ruled on Monday that the Edwards Aquifer Authority owes $2.5 million in compensation to the Braggs because groundwater permit denials resulted in a regulatory taking. For those of you who might not have been following along, the Braggs filed suit against the EAA back in 2004 after they were denied permits to pump groundwater to irrigate their pecan orchards.  The trial court found in favor of the Braggs initially–agreeing that the denials constituted a regulatory taking of the Bragg’s property interest in groundwater–and awarded $732,493.40.  Both sides… Read More →

BREAKING NEWS: TX and NM Supreme Court Rulings Impact Agriculture

Well it turned into a busy week for ag law right at the last minute and after I posted the weekly round up.  Major actions from the Texas and New Mexico Supreme Courts that have major impacts on the agriculture industry in both states. First up, the Texas Supreme Court will NOT hear the appeal in Texas Farm Bureau v. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.  This case arose during the drought of 2012 when there was a shortage of water on the Brazos River.  Dow Chemical had a 1942 water right… Read More →

February 19, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!    Before we get started, one last reminder of the Oil and Gas Leasing Seminar we will be putting on on Monday from 9-12 noon in College Station at the Hildebrand Equine Center (3240 F&B Road, College Station).  There is no required registration, no fees, and we will have parking passes for everyone.  So feel free to join us! Here are some of the agricultural law issues in the news recently. * Bragg case back in court.  The high-profile Texas water law case, Bragg v. Edwards Aquifer Authority, is… Read More →

Texas Agriculture Law Year in Review (Part I): Water

In addition to the national agriculture law happenings in 2015 (which we recapped in last weeks’ blog posts), this has been a busy year for agricultural law in Texas as well.  Conveniently, the key events can be separated into two categories:  Oil and Water.  Here are the water-related highlights. * Bragg takings decision will stand.  In May, the Texas Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in Bragg v. Edwards Aquifer Authority, a groundbreaking groundwater law case in Texas.  This means that the opinion of the San Antonio Court of Appeals remains… Read More →

September & October Round Up (Part 1)

Hello!  I am back in the saddle again after spending some time on maternity leave.  Thank you all so much for your kind wishes for our little family. During middle of the night feedings, I’ve managed to stay up to date on what’s been happening in the ag law world.  Here are some of the top stories from the last two months. WOTUS rule stayed nationwide, cases will not be consolidated.  As you previously read, the United States Court of Appeal for the Sixth Circuit has issued a… Read More →

Reserving Groundwater Rights

Recently, I have received several questions related to whether a seller of land can reserve groundwater rights at the time of sale.  The San Antonio Court of Appeals addressed this question in 2008 in City of Del Rio v. Clayton Sam Colt Hamilton Trust, 269 S.W.3d 613 (Tex. App. San Antonio 2008).  In light of the interest level in this topic, I thought a discussion of this decision might be useful. Basic Texas Water Law For those of you new to the blog and those of you not for Texas,… Read More →

September 11, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Here are a few of the major ag law stories in the news this week. * Texas Supreme Court Will Consider City of Lubbock v. Coyote Lake Ranch. Last Friday, the Texas Supreme Court granted Coyote Lake Ranch’s petition for review in this important water law case that asks whether the accommodation doctrine should be applied to groundwater.  Lower courts split on this issue, with the trial court issuing a preliminary injunction in favor of Coyote Lake Ranch, which was overruled by the Amarillo Court of Appeals, which held… Read More →

The Clean Water Act and Agriculture: The Basics

The “waters of the United States” controversy has been a hot button issue in the agriculture industry for over a year now.  It’s showing no signs of slowing down.  But many people fail to understand that there is more to this issue than the definition of “waters of the United States.”  For example, even if a stream running across one’s property is deemed a “water of the United States” under the EPA’s new rule, that does not mean the landowner must obtain a permit in order to conduct… Read More →

August 28, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Hard to believe we have reached the end of August!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. * Waters of the United States:  Where Are We Now?  I recently wrote an article for Progressive Cattleman Magazine discussing where things currently stand with the “Waters of the United States” controversy involving the EPA’s new rule defining the scope of the federal Clean Water Act.  To read the article, click here.  Just yesterday, a North Dakota federal judge issued a temporary injunction preventing the… Read More →