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Agriculture Today

Groundwater ownership bill passes Texas Senate

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April 27, 2011 | 3,157 views | Post a comment

AUSTIN -- A bill that would reaffirm landowners’ ownership interest in the groundwater below their land passed the Texas Senate March 30, by a vote of 28 to 3. Senate Bill (SB) 332, introduced by Chairman Troy Fraser, R-Horsheshoe Bay, will now head to the Texas House for consideration.

“The Texas Senate took a strong stance for landowners today by approving SB 332,” said Dave Scott, rancher and president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. “SB 332 reaffirms that landowners have an ownership interest in the groundwater beneath their land and are entitled to a fair chance to produce it.”

SB 332 acknowledges the current authority of groundwater conservation districts, but requires the water districts to recognize landowners’ ownership interest in the groundwater beneath their land and their right to produce it.

Scott says SB 332 is necessary because some groundwater conservation districts argue that landowners do not own the groundwater below their land.

“This bill simply reaffirms what the law has said for more than 100 years,” said Scott. “That is that landowners own the groundwater beneath their land and have a right to produce it.”

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