The Bandera Courier
Bandera Courier
Thursday December 14, 2017
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Water rights mystery

Feather Wilson

Let's imagine you own a 1,000 acre ranch in Bandera County. That automatically places you in the privileged upper one percent IRS wealth category.
What are your water rights?
Your water rights are a real contradictory mess.
Let's examine surface and subsurface water. Surface water belongs to the State of Texas. Subsurface water belongs to you.
Let's imagine you own a spring. When the subsurface water flows out of the spring into a creek, it automatically changes title without any deed record.
The State of Texas spring water moves down your creek for a few minutes and seeps into limestone fractures in your creek. As the Texas State water enters the fractures, it once again becomes your subsurface water with no title change deed record.
Now some of that water as it flows down the stream evaporates and it then becomes Nature's water and drifts off with clouds, fog and rain without any change in deed records.
After the water seeps into the fractures, it migrates beneath the subsurface onto your neighbor's property, it automatically changes title without any recorded deed.
Let's imagine you dump some hazardous waste down a well and it migrates with the water you own to your neighbor's property and he files a trespass suit. The suit goes through years of litigation with contradictory outcomes and ends up in the Texas Supreme Court.
The Texas Supreme Court then kicks the can to the Texas Legislature without a ruling.
The Texas Legislature either ignores the issue or passes a far more confusing and contradictory law, due to their scientific ignorance.
Let's imagine that you drill a well and pump the water into a vanity pond or stream and 4.5 feet evaporates in one year. Is that considered "waste" under Chapter 36 of the Texas Water Code?
Can you get away with it because your ranch is in the middle of nowhere and you contribute heavily to the political party each year?

Weekly Rainfall = 0.68" Cumulative Rainfall = 0.68"
Departure From Normal = -1.04"
Tarpley Glen Rose WL = -32.11'
Bandera Hosston WL = -439.29'
Hondo Creek Flow = 18.00 cfs
Medina (USGS) Flow = 120.00 cfs
Medina (USGS) Lake = -17.24'
High (F°) = 64º
Low (F°) = 32º
01-04-16 @ 8:00 am