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DROUGHT RESPONSE: Drought Triggers Priority Questions

By Guest Author – Brad B. Castleberry, Principal; Lloyd Gosselink Attorneys and Counselors

In addition to drought contingency plans, some owners should consider the stability of their water supplies, especially if the source is surface water. Surface water rights in Texas are governed by the prior appropriation doctrine, which means "first in time, first in right." Drought conditions in 2011 resulted in priority calls in several Texas river basins.  

TCEQ held a stakeholder meeting in August 2011 and a public hearing in December 2011 to discuss implementation of a portion of HB 2694 that deals with priority uses. The commission will consider adoption of the rule on April 11, 2012.  

Read more in the article “Drought Triggers Priority Questions” on page 3 of the Summer 2011 issue of aquALERT and at TCEQ’s web page for Development of a Rule for Drought or Water Shortage Conditions.

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TagsWater Rights, TCEQ, Priority, Drought Response,