Conservation District permits
The Texas legislature has recently given Groundwater
Conservations Districts (GCDs) significant power over a
landowner’s right to drill and produce groundwater. The
complex new laws and rules vary from county to county and
are still changing. In order to secure their right to
produce water, landowners must be able to negotiate the GCD
leases and sales
With Texas’ growing population and limited water
resources, groundwater is becoming more and more valuable.
Landowners have an opportunity to capitalize on this new
demand through leasing or selling groundwater, but these
transactions are complex legal matters that often mirror oil
and gas transactions.
In the same way that a landowner can separate the
mineral estate from the surface estate, a landowner may
sever the groundwater from the surface ownership, either
reserving a right in the groundwater when selling the land
or purchasing the groundwater separately from the surface.
Land use ranging from agriculture to residential
development can be affected by the Clean Water Act. Because
the law is currently unclear on this matter and the Army
Corps of Engineers has changed its regulation of this
matter, complete understanding of this issue is important
for a variety of land uses.