Groundwater Ownership in Texas

Groundwater is an integral part of the land, and private landowners have a vested ownership interest in the groundwater below the surface of their land. The Texas Constitution and more than 100 years of case law support this position. Secure, protectable property rights best assure conservation and stewardship of all resources, including groundwater. Not only does this provide the landowner a right to produce, but it ensures the ability to conserve groundwater if there is no rush to produce under the threat of losing it.

As the demand for groundwater in Texas increases, it is important that the landowner’s ownership interest in groundwater continues to be recognized and reaffirmed as vested, real property of private landowners. Private landowners and their productive open land are keys to an effectively functioning water cycle. Their active and informed stewardship of land and water resources benefits all Texans.

Like all other private property in Texas, groundwater is subject to reasonable regulation. This ensures that private landowners are treated fairly (afforded due process), property rights are respected, and that all private landowners maintain the ability to use groundwater for any beneficial use. Just as it makes sense for school districts to be governed by local citizens, it makes sense for groundwater to be governed by local citizens, which is why we support local groundwater conservation districts. It is better and more effective for private landowners to work with their neighbors, rather than a distant state agency… Read more from TWA