Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Texas Supreme Court Rules in Historic Water Regulation Case

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The new ruling favors landowners over water authorities.

The Texas Supreme Court has reached a ruling in a case that will have widesweeping implications for the way groundwater is regulated across the state. The Edwards Aquifer Authority and the State of Texas, V Burrell Day and Joel McDaniel, centered on whether property owners could be compensated if a water authority limited the amount of groundwater they could pull from their land.

The decision found that Ranchers Burrell Day and Joel McDaniel could be compensated by groundwater regulations from the Edwards Aquifer Authority. This means that other landowners in Texas could seek compensation in similar cases.  Under Texas law, groundwater has traditionally been considered the property of the owner of the land it sits on top of.

The decision comes as Texas’ water resources grow scarcer in the face of drought and a growing population.  You can read the full ruling here:


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