Author Topic: Texas Water Rights  (Read 826 times)

Offline A Pawn

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Texas Water Rights
« on: February 21, 2009, 08:24:35 PM »
I was wondering if anyone from Texas who knows anything about Texas water rights can enlighten me on something.

I was planning on having a backup water well drilled on my property and installing a handpump and/or possibly a solar subpump. Like they say, 'Two is one. One is none".

Well I've now been told that I will have to register my well with the State of Texas so they can "TAX" me for using my own water!!

If this is true is there anyway around it? You know how the politicians love Loop Holes!

Thanks for your help.  8)

Offline chris

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Re: Texas Water Rights
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2009, 09:13:09 PM »
I coudln't find any State "taxes" for water wells, but my google-fu may be lacking. It may be a county issue.

Offline BigDanInTX

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Re: Texas Water Rights
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2009, 09:48:42 PM »
Found some stuff here:
The Handbook of Texas Online - Water Law

If what it says here is true, you only need a permit if you are diverting water from a river or stream.

Otherwise, it's up to the county or water conservation district.  Most likely, that is the case here.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 09:51:03 PM by BigDanInTX »

Offline A Pawn

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Re: Texas Water Rights
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2009, 12:26:28 PM »
Thanks you guys...

Guest I'm going to have to find a 'State' employee...grrrr. They might even know something about it.

I'll let you know what I find out...

 8)

Offline Doug

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Re: Texas Water Rights
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2009, 06:07:47 PM »
Texas is being divided up into Groundwater Conservation Districts (GCD). If a county (counties) don't form one they are going to be forced into a region. The question for these regions is how to tax and fund them.

For you (and me, I'm looking to drill another well) wanting to drill a new well is whether that well needs to be permitted at this time. If there is no permitting for you at this time then get it drilled as fast as you can just in case your shallow well is included into district regulations.

These districts, I think, will put a halt to a lot of subdivisions in rural areas as only so much water will be allowed to be pumped area/year.

Overall, I think this thing is going to be a pain in the ass. If you have several counties in a GCD, the most populated could control the district and all new water intensive business could go to that county. Dairying use to be big business where I live, I don't think it'll ever be revived once these new laws are enacted.


Offline TexSquirrel

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Re: Texas Water Rights
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2009, 06:28:37 PM »
Someday I'd like to have a drill bit and some drill stem around just in case the SHTF.
I've often wondered how difficult it would be to drill my own rogue water well.
My house is 24' above sea level, so I doubt I'd have to drill very far.
I'd guess less than 75'.
I don't own the water rights to my property, so I can't have a well professionally dug now without a lawsuit.
But I'd like one just for emergencies, not to "rob" anyone of their rights.
Heck I'd pay for water I pumped if I could just have the capability, but I know I'd never be able to get permission.

Offline Doug

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Re: Texas Water Rights
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2009, 07:53:12 PM »
Someday I'd like to have a drill bit and some drill stem around just in case the SHTF.
I've often wondered how difficult it would be to drill my own rogue water well.
My house is 24' above sea level, so I doubt I'd have to drill very far.
I'd guess less than 75'.
I don't own the water rights to my property, so I can't have a well professionally dug now without a lawsuit.
But I'd like one just for emergencies, not to "rob" anyone of their rights.
Heck I'd pay for water I pumped if I could just have the capability, but I know I'd never be able to get permission.


I don't understand, if you live in a rural area and the GCD hasn't been instituted you should have the rights. If you're in town then there are zoning codes prohibiting the well.

But here's one option: if you live where there is good rainfall you could set a cistern and catch rainfall of the roof. Earthship homes in Taos, New Mexico  use this method: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9jdIm7grCY

Offline TexSquirrel

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Re: Texas Water Rights
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2009, 08:01:03 PM »
I don't live within the city limits, but the property I live on still has restrictions.
I was not aware of the restrictions when I purchased the property almost 8 years ago.
I was given the restrictions just after I purchased the property.
I could have sued, but at the time was starting a new job in a new town moving a family with a baby.
I bit the bullet and have lived with the "consequences."
But I have also decided we're not staying here permanently.
In spite of this I like the house and property, but it is not our dream location.
We're out of debt except for our house, which has a smaller mortgage than even Jack's. ;)
As soon as that is resolved we'll start saving for our dream home.
Sounds like it will be a lot like Jack's bugout location, except it will be in Texas.

I'm doing the rainwater harvesting but I'm not currently catching enough for even my garden.
I need to increase my holding drums, which is in the works, but I also have to keep enough room for gardening and kids play area near the house.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 08:04:03 PM by TexSquirrel »

Offline Doug

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Re: Texas Water Rights
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2009, 01:38:11 PM »
You might look into a cistern that can be buried http://plastic-mart.com/class.php?cat=9 I've been thinking of doing something like on of theses (the bigger ones) over even buying a 210bbl oil tank and having it coated for pottable water. I'm in the country so one this size would double as a "dry hydrant" incase of fires.

shaunw

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Re: Texas Water Rights
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2009, 08:55:35 AM »
Odds are they want to tax it as an improvement and add it to your property taxes.  That would be my quess.  Damn the man!  Air quality districts will be next. 


Breath in............................................................................Breath out a little...............................Exhale.  Crap there goes the food money.

Offline digger

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Re: Texas Water Rights
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2009, 10:28:37 PM »
I figure if I own the property, I own the water, too. In Texas, it's always been that way, unless prohibited by deed. I own my water rights, however, the well drillers I contacted years ago told me I had to have a permit for the well, and the well location had to be recorded with the state by him.

Being a contrary old fool, I ain't registering nothing.  The first garden well I installed myself, by using 2" pipe (cut to 5' length) and hammering & adding pipe as far as I could go, before friction stopped me. Even with using 1/2" pipe jetting water on the inside of the 2",  30' was maximum. Too shallow, because it will dry up in the summer.

A few weeks ago, I ordered this device and intend to install a 100' well this summer. Wish me luck :)

http://www.howtodrillawell.com/

I know from my foundation drilling days that in this area, we have only clay down to around 150' so I should be ok.

shaunw

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Re: Texas Water Rights
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2009, 12:27:36 PM »
Good luck.  It seems easy enough to use and should not draw any unwanted attetion.  Please post how this systems performs.  I would like to add a well for landscape irrigation.

Offline Masterherdsman

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Re: Texas Water Rights
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2009, 11:27:28 PM »
no need to drill another well check out http://bisonpumps.com they can set these in your current well.

Offline millwright

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Re: Texas Water Rights
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2009, 11:11:40 PM »
I've heard that new wells are being registered by drillers and this opens the door for meters being installed on private wells.

Offline sashay

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Re: Texas Water Rights
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2009, 05:16:53 PM »
Hi, Y'All...

I have some specialized information on tihs since I was involved in a law suit regarding same. Dan, you are incorrect about only needing a permit if you are diverting water. The state of texas is of the opinion that all ground water is theirs and you can only use if you have a permit (the permit is actually for the diversion, not the actual water and don't ask me why I do not know)...and they DO tax the water that you 'divert".

If you really need help, call Thomas Baird, an attorney in Temple, Texas. He is a very cool guy and sucessfully defended a case involving his own dad when the state took offense at their diversion from a creek that flowed through their property.... In that particular case, thomas researched the land title all the way back to the spanish land grant from the king of spain and lo and behold...the water rights were transferred with the property. Thomas can give you legal advice on your particular situation and he is just a really nice man besides.

Hope that helped.