‘Prior aP­Pro­Pri­a­tions’ sys­tem

Austin American-Statesman - - NEWS -

In Texas, water in rivers, lakes and streams — known as sur­face water — is owned by the state and held in trust for res­i­dents.

Through the Texas Com­mis­sion on En­vi­ron­men­tal Qual­ity, the state grants the right to use the water to farm­ers or ranch­ers; cities; in­dus­tries; busi­nesses; and other pub­lic and pri­vate in­ter­ests.

To use sur­face water in Texas, such in­ter­ests must first get per­mis­sion from the state un­less they use the water for one of sev­eral ex­empt pur­poses, in­clud­ing domestic or live­stock use, emer­gency use or wildlife man­age­ment.

Tra­di­tion­ally, first, or‘se­nior,’water rights must be sat­is­fied be­fore later water rights are met.

The date a per­mit holder secures water rights with the state es­tab­lishes its place in line.

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