*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 cities need water, people need water, but it kind of gets to me how agriculture is pushed to the back of the line. We’re on pins and needles wondering when the next call is going to be made. It’s hard enough to make a living without things like this.”
Additionally, the article mentioned the LCRA’s decision to cut off water downstream farmers and cities for the third year in a row. As was previously discussed on this blog, the TCEQ has, for now, refused to release water to downstream users, but will reconsider that decision in the next few months. Even if water is released at that time–something that seems unlikely at this point–it may be too little too late for rice farmers who have been unable to plant their crop this Spring.
Sadly, the final quote in the article may be the reality for the foreseeable future. “It truly is a good time to be a water attorney in Texas. There’s work here as far as they eye can see.”