Category Archives: Water Law

TX Attorney General Opinion: Groundwater Conservation District Cannot Limit Definition of Agriculture

Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, recently issued an opinion regarding the ability of a Texas Groundwater Conservation District to limit the definition of “agricultural crop” under its rules. [Read full opinion here.]  Although not binding on a court, this opinion could potentially impact GCDs and producers around the state. Background Senator Bob Hall, Chair of the Texas Senate Committee on Agriculture requested an opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on an interesting legal question.  Specifically, Senator Hall wanted to know how the Attorney General thought a court… Read More →

April 19, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday and Happy Easter!  Here are a few ag law stories in the news this week. *EPA Publishes “Interpretive Statement” on Applicability of Clean Water Act to Groundwater as Conduit.  You may recall from this prior blog post the legal issue surrounding groundwater as a conduit.  Basically, the question has arisen about whether the discharge of a point source pollutant into groundwater that is connected to a Water of the United States is withing the scope of the Clean Water Act.  The Environmental Protection Agency issued an… Read More →

Recorded Presentation: Overview of Texas Water Law

Back in January, I was asked to present at the Texas Alliance on Water Conservation Water College in Lubbock.  I offered a brief overview of Texas water law, including the different legal approaches to groundwater and surface water and a discussion of some of the key cases relating to both.   The folks at TAWC recorded the audio of me speaking along with my slide show.  If you’re interested in viewing my presentation, click here. {For more information on Texas water law, check out this fact sheet and… Read More →

September 14, 2018 Weekly Round Up

As usual, things around here have been crazy.  I apologize for the lack of a Round Up post last Friday, but I spend most of my week on the road.  Last Tuesday, I was in Childless for an Extension wildlife meeting talking about hunting leases.  Then, on Friday I spoke at our Ranchers Leasing Workshop event in Bryan.  Saturday, I was able to speak at the Agricultural Economics Department Tailgate before the Texas A&M University football game.  Then, this Tuesday I made my way to Lubbock to speak… Read More →

August 31, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Welcome to the end of August!  I’m not sure how the summer has already flown by, but here we are.  This week I was in Stephenville in Tuesday for an agricultural leasing and law program.  We had a great turnout, so welcome to those of you joining from that event. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. * Appellate court reverses trial court decision in Lost Pines GCD date.  Earlier this year, a Bastrop County judge held that the Lost Pines GCD… Read More →

August 24, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  This week I traveled to Paducah on Tuesday to present on hunting leases at the Cottle County Wildlife Conference.  Welcome to those of you joining from that meeting. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news. * 2015 WOTUS rule now in effect in 26 states, including Texas.  The legal wrangling over the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 WOTUS rule continues.  As you may recall, the EPA previously suspended the implementation of the rule until 2020, giving the agency time to promulgate and publish… Read More →

August 17, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Hello there!  It’s been another busy week here on the High Plains!  On Wednesday, I gave a webinar for the Texas A&M University Think Tank committee on using blogs, podcasts, and social media in Extension programming and today I’m offering a webinar for the Houston County New Landowner’s Series on ag law.  This evening, I’m headed to San Angelo to speak tomorrow at the TAMU Sheep & Goat Expo.  Welcome to those of you joining us from these programs. Here are some of the ag law stories in… Read More →

August 10, 2018 Weekly Round Up

I’m back from a great time in College Station at the TAMU Beef Cattle Short Course.  It’s an excellent event and is attended each year by over 2,000 cattle producers.  I spoke three times on various agricultural law issues and had a great time.   Welcome to those of you joining from BCSC.  To read more about this event, click here. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. * NM State Engineer dismisses groundwater pumping permit for San Augustin Ranch.  For years, I’ve… Read More →

July 27, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Hello there!  The last couple of weeks have been crazy and I’ve been able to speak to a number of great groups across Texas.  Last Monday, I was in Cat Spring speaking with my friend Stephanie Fryer on estate planning.  Then Tuesday, I spoke in Fredericksburg at the Texas Extension Specialist Association meeting on using blogs, podcasts, and social media.  Wednesday, I headed to Georgetown for a great meeting with landowners discussing grazing leases.  This week, I virtually appeared in Montague County to talk agricultural lease agreements.  Welcome… Read More →

NM Land Commissioner Sues NM State Engineer Over Water Permits

A new water battle is brewing in New Mexico, but this time, it is between elected officials.  New Mexico State Land Commissioner, Aubrey Dunn, filed suit against the New Mexico State Engineer, Tom Blaine. [Read Complaint here.] The Land Commissioner is charged with jurisdiction over state trust lands to generate support for public schools and other state institutions.  In the Complaint, filed in the First Judicial District Court, the Commissioner asserts that he has “an interest in the appropriation of water on and off of state trust lands… Read More →