Austin Water and Wastewater Lawyer
Get Insights to Your Water Rights as a Landowner
With the population of Texas steadily growing, the demand on our state's limited water supply continues to increase. Water rights law helps regulate who can use the available water supply, in what quantities, and for what purpose. Broken down simply, in Texas, a landowner has the right to pump and capture groundwater, but the surface water belongs to the State of Texas.
Surface water can be used, however, when the landowner has obtained the state's permission. In Texas, a landowner who "captures" groundwater within the subsurface of his land acquires absolute ownership of the substance, even if it is drained from the subsurface of another's land. He / she does not owe a duty of care to other landowners. Due to this absolute owner rule, one landowner can dry up an adjoining landowner's well-without a legal remedy.
Exceptions to the Absolute Owner Rule
There are five exceptions to this rule:
- If an adjoining neighbor trespasses on the land to remove water
- If there is malicious or wanton conduct in pumping water
- If the landowner wastes artesian well water by allowing it to run off their land
- If there is contamination of water in a landowner's well
- If land subsidence and surface injury occur as a result of negligent over-pumping
In any of these scenarios, a landowner can take legal action for interference with his / her groundwater rights. This is just one example of one area of Texas water law. Texas' water rights are complex, which is why it is always advised that you speak with a lawyer.
Why You Should Call The Jones Law Firm PC for Help
At our firm, we take the time to listen to our clients and help them pursue the best course of action. When you need advice and guidance for a water law related issue, you can count on our legal team.
We have an extensive background in water law that includes:
- Advising clients on groundwater issues in several groundwater conservation districts
- Closing many developer water and wastewater utility service agreements
- Obtaining potable and wastewater permits from TCEQ
- Advising clients on surface water transfers and watermaster regulations
- Representing owners of several thousand acre-feet of Edwards Aquifer groundwater rights
- Forming/counseling water purveyors, transportation companies, water supply corporations, and wastewater supply corporations
- Licensing package plants for wastewater treatment
- Advising clients on "bed and banks" permits issued by the TCEQ
We are prepared to represent the water interests of any Texas resident or stakeholder in the water industry. We can advise private landowners, investor-owned regulated or non-regulated water and wastewater utilities, water districts, municipal utility districts, and special districts on any operational concern involving surface water, groundwater, or wastewater. For more information, do not hesitate to contact our office and benefit from our more than 50 years of combined legal experience.