Category Archives: Water Law

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 →

TCEQ Rejects Suggested Trigger Level for Release to Rice Farmers

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* The TCEQ reached a somewhat surprising decision in the emergency request by the Lower Colorado River Authority seeking to withhold water from downstream users, including many rice farmers, unless the Highland Lakes near Austin reached 1.1 million acre feet.  Instead of adopting a certain trigger point at which water can be released, the TCEQ decided that it was best to prevent the release of irrigation water for now, but to revisit the issue in the next few months. … Read More →

Livestock Wells in Western States

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* I recently drafted an article for the Progressive Cattleman Magazine discussing the basic laws surrounding livestock wells in Western states. Many states provide some form of exemption from the permitting process for people seeking to drill livestock wells.  Thirteen states provide specific exemptions for livestock wells:  Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.  The specific laws vary by state and can be quite different with regard… Read More →

Summary of Oral Argument in Environmental Processing v. F.P.L. Farming

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Today the Texas Supreme Court heard oral argument from counsel in Environmental Processing Systems, L.C. v. F.P.L. Farming LTD., which was discussed in detail on this blog on Monday.   Essentially the case involves a claim that waste water from an oil and gas operation that was injected in an underground disposal well on EPS’ property has migrated under the property of FPL Farming, causing subsurface trespass.   The case has been submitted to the Court for decision. The justices… Read More →

December 6, 2013 Weekly Round Up

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** This week I was able to speak at the Texas Commodity Symposium held in conjunction with the Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show.  It was a great symposium and I enjoyed the chance to visit with the attendees and hear the other speakers.  Hello to the new readers from the Farm and Ranch Show!  Here are a few ag law-related stories making news this week. *Federal Reserve Bank Report Suggests Water Market Approach.  The Federal Reserve Bank… Read More →