Texas Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Groundwater Rights

By tscra, on February 24th, 2012

For Immediate Release: Feb. 24, 2012
Contact: Marissa Patton, 512-469-0171

Cattle Raisers applaud opinion

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) today applauded the opinion of the Texas Supreme Court in the Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Burrell Day and Joel McDaniel case regarding whether or not landowners own the groundwater below their land.

“The Texas Supreme Court has affirmed that landowners own the groundwater in place below their land and that it is subject to constitutional protection as a property right,” said Joe Parker Jr., rancher and president of TSCRA.

“This opinion is a victory for Texas landowners and will be important for generations to come. It also recognizes the important legislation, S.B. 332, that was passed by the Legislature in 2011,” Parker said.

“TSCRA would like to thank the Texas Supreme Court for their diligent efforts in writing this opinion,” Parker continued.

In the opinion, the Texas Supreme Court states:

“…we held long ago that oil and gas are owned in place, and we find no reason to treat groundwater differently.”

“…last year, the Legislature amended section 36.002 [S.B. 332], to set out its fuller understanding of the matter…By ownership of groundwater as real property, the Legislature appears to mean ownership in place.”

“Groundwater rights are property rights subject to constitutional protection, whatever difficulties may lie in determining adequate compensation for a taking.”

“Today we have decided that landowners do have a constitutionally compensable interest in groundwater…”

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TSCRA is a 135 year-old trade association and is the largest and oldest livestock organization based in Texas. TSCRA has over 15,000 beef cattle operations, ranching families and businesses as members. These members represent approximately 50,000 individuals directly involved in ranching and beef production who manage 4 million head of cattle on 76 million acres of range and pasture land primarily in Texas and Oklahoma, but throughout the Southwest.

Bandera Water Rights

I got this email in today by Dave Allen and I felt it was important to get this posted!!!

Concerning agenda item X, the Board President started with offering us choices of allowing them to issue pumping permits to the Trinity Aquifer that would draw it down another 20, 30 or 40 feet on average, as our Desired Futue Condition (DFC) for the year 2060.  At that point, hands started raising and public comment was recognized which was overwhelmingly in favor of a zero net drawdown average as our DFC.

After a lively debate with the board and then, among themselves, they ended up voting for no more than a 10 foot decline.

Because the Trinity aquifer in our area is affected by what happens in the surrounding districts mainly to the north, we hope that they follow our example.  Ultimately, we come under GMA-9 jurisdiction, and whatever DFC consensus they reach.  The vote by our board is considered a victory for local conservation, given the three initial alternatives.

Director Kneupper had two important items on the agenda which passed.

Item XIII, to permit all unpermitted wells which require permits, and Item XIV, to have meters installed on existing permitted wells and to get pumping reports from them.  The district will gain valuable data from these meters, which will help in planning future pumping limits.

Thanks to Lee for fighting the good fight to stabilize and prevent declines in groundwater and springflows, and thank the Good Lord for the abundant rain we received this week.

Dave Allen

Bandera Water Matters

Texas Ranch and Land meeting:

Texas Ranch and Land meeting: April 28, 2010

Texas is the 5th largest economy in world!  So what we do matters.   Currently we have around $7 billion in the rainy day fund, but because of the federal unfunded mandate of the new health care bill, we will have a 20 billion in debt Texas in the 1st year!

http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/Texas_state_budget

The reason is that 25% uninsured 2-4 billion cost for Texas.

Texas Unemployment 8.2% vs  10-20% or higher in other states . Illinois desperate, Navada, Florida, California are the worst off.

It will cost $4-$5 billion if the Cap Trade come into effect!

Not since great depreciation has the gov run private business out of business and not allowed  private industry take up the slack.

Tennessee valley authority took over the electricity business away in last depression by undercutting the private industry!

Texas Ground Water rights

Federal clean water act is working on removing the word “navigable” .  This is a bigger problem than at first glance. That would mean all water including your swimming pool.

Here is the current law suite information take a look! Don’t be left out in the dark of what is going on.  These are our rights that they are working on taking away.

http://stmarytxlaw.mediasite.com/mediasite/Catalog/pages/catalog.aspx?catalogId=c7b36466-40e3-4d88-b90c-0761e609344e