Category Archives: Water Law

April 10, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Yesterday found me in Menard, Texas talking to local landowners about hunting leases.  Thanks to Lisa Brown for the invitation and welcome to those of you joining the blog from that presentation! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. * Midland County to Purchase Land for Groundwater Rights.  Midland County officials recently approved the purchase of land to secure additional groundwater for the county.  [Read article here.] * USDA Proposes Modifications to “Actively Engaged in Farming” Definition.  The USDA has proposed changes to… Read More →

April 6, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Because of the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals opinion last week in TCEQ v. Texas Farm Bureau, the weekly round up blog for last Friday got pushed to today. Last weekend, I attended my first Texas & Southwest Cattle Raiser’s Conference in Ft. Worth.  I was honored to give three presentations on grazing leases and pipeline easements and had an absolute blast!  To those of you joining from the Convention, welcome! Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. * Texas Supreme Court Hears Chesapeake… Read More →

Court of Appeals Sides with Farmers in Surface Water Case

Today, the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals issued a major decision in TCEQ v. Texas Farm Bureau regarding surface water rights in Texas. [Read full opinion here.]   Background In late 2012, Dow Chemical Company, a water rights holder on the Brazos River notified the TCEQ it was making a “priority call” on the Brazos.  Essentially, this means that Dow requested TCEQ to curtail water withdrawals from users with water rights junior to Dow, whose right was granted in 1942.  The TCEQ issued a priority call, suspending the use… Read More →

March 20, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Spring is in the air!  Hope you are all enjoying some warmer temperatures, and hopefully, some rain!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *Briscoe County Will Not Become Part of High Plains Water District.  Despite a TCEQ recommendation that the High Plains Water District annex Briscoe County under its jurisdiction, the District Board voted unanimously not to do so last week.  Numerous Briscoe County residents spoke against the annexation, claiming they were perfectly happy being unregulated by a groundwater conservation district…. Read More →

February 13, 2015 Weekly Round Up

We’ve made it to the end of another week!  Here are some ag law stories making news. * Texas Supreme Court Could Hear Groundwater Case.  You may recall from this prior blog the Coyote Lake Ranch v. City of Lubbock lawsuit.  The Ranch owns the surface, but all groundwater rights were severed and sold to Lubbock by prior owners in the 1960’s.  As part of the contract for the water rights, Lubbock obtained the right to enter the land and drill water wells.  The Ranch is concerned that by… Read More →

January 30, 2015 Weekly Round Up

I’m not sure how the month of January has already drawn to a close, but I hope everyone has enjoyed the first 30 days of the new year!  This month has brought two great speaking opportunities.  First, I spoke to beef producers from Texas and New Mexico at the Southwest Beef Symposium in Amarillo, where I presented on legal resources for agricultural producers.  Last week, I traveled to Atlanta to speak at the Southern Dairy Conference.  There, I presented on how to prevent and survive and undercover video… Read More →

WOTUS All the Fuss About?

Recently, OSU Professor of Ag Law Shannon Ferrell, and I wrote an article for Southwest Farm Press titled WOTUS All the Fuss About.  (I do have to admit that Professor Ferrell did most of they heavy lifting, including the snappy title!) The article provides an overview of the recent controversy involving the EPA and Corps of Engineers proposed rule to define “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.  The proposed definition was met with a great deal of push back from many industries, with agriculture… Read More →

January 9, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Welcome to our first weekly round up of the new year!  There are lots of ag law stories making news this week.  *New York Bans Fracking.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that he will ban fracking in the state this year.  A moritorium on the practice has been in place since 2008 and several local fracking bans are already in place.  With this ban, New York will join Vermont as the only states banning fracking, but will be the first ban in a state with significant… Read More →

Agriculutral Law: What To Watch in 2015

As everyone is recovering from the New Year celebrations and getting back to the grindstone, I thought it would be fun to highlight a few of the major ag law issues to watch in 2015. Water Disputes Unfortunately, this issue will likely top the list every year for the near future.  Across the country we are seeing more and more water-related disputes.  In addition to the issues outlined in my 2014 Year in Review post, there are two additional issues I think will be in the forefront this year. Water… Read More →

December 9, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Because I did not get the Weekly Round Up post up last Friday, I figured better late than never, so here is the first-ever Tuesday weekly round up of ag law stories in the news. * LCRA Seeks Approval to Cut Off Downstream Irrigation Releases for Fourth Year in a Row.  In a story that is unfortunately becoming all to common, the Lower Colorado River Authority voted 11-2 to seek permission from the TCEQ to curtail downstream releases from the Highland Lakes.  The curtailment would not just impact… Read More →