On March 24, the Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case posing the question of who determines ownership of water rights in Texas: the courts or the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality?
The case involves a 2014 purchase of farmland that transferred surface water rights to the buyers. Those rights originated from a 1986 lawsuit judgment. However, after the 2014 purchase, the TCEQ determined that an adjacent landowner owned a portion of those water rights.
Now that matter is before the supreme court. Read details about the case on the Texas Agriculture Law Blog.
Good lesson: Things that depend on law and court findings can change. The first court case in 1986 may have been appeal-able but not worth the time and money – at the time. The 2014 purchase was based on the 1986 ruling, which now could be reversed….. now that water becomes more and more valuable, time and money may be worth the appeal. Appeals of water rights judgements are likely to become full time specializations for many law firms as water becomes scarcer and scarcer due to a tripling of expected demand and anticipated drought (driven by global warming or… Read more »
What, if anything, is being done to mitigate water shortages in Texas for consumers and landowners? We are faced with a growing population while the memories of our last drought still linger in my mind. I just hope someone is doing their homework for not just the next subdivision project but how to find sources of water or reusing the water we have before there’s not enough. This is my realtor’s woe…
Rick can you please explain how water is becoming scarcer and scarcerb as it is my understanding that water exist as a liquid, solid or gas and the only water that has escaped the earth is what the astronauts have jettisoned into space.
Sure, I can expound.
Water is being hoarded, mostly in 12 oz plastic bottles inside people’s refrigerators.
Thanks for the reference. I believe that this is going to become more and more of an issue as time passes.
TCEQ Rules are abstruse and byzantine. I hope the SCOT rules against TCEQ
Would Title Insurance Coverage ever help with a loss like pond or creek? Shortages give protection to the Company?
What are the best available classes to take on understanding water rights in Texas? Wells are running dry across the state. Some River and Ground Water Authorities are trying to protect some land owners in the state, but it’s looking like water rights are being tested between rural and urban communities. This is becoming a hot issue not just in Texas, but across the US and globally as well.
Anything taught by Charles Porter! My interest and knowledge has taken off after his classes. I also highly recommend the book Sharing the Common Pool: Water Rights in the Everyday Lives of Texans