What rights do you (and others) have to the water on your land? Let’s learn the difference between Ground Water and Surface Water and the implications of each to you as the land owner. πŸ’§

When you’re buying a piece of land or if you own a piece of land, ground groundwater rights are very, very important. Generally speaking, in the state of Texas, groundwater rights are determined by whether it’s groundwater or surface water.

If it’s groundwater, it is governed by the rule of capture in the state of Texas which allows a landowner to capture that water regardless of the effects of neighboring properties.

If it’s surface water, the state of Texas says that the landowners do not own the surface water and they have to get a permit from the state of Texas to utilize that water. This is also governed by the U.S. Federal Government with WOTUS which stands for Waters of the U.S. If WOTUS determines that a body of water on your property is navigable, then, therefore, anyone can actually tread that water. And, a navigable waterway could be a stream, a river or a lake. The implications of this are far and wide. Because, even if you own private property, if it has a body of water that is deemed navigable by WOTUS then anyone can actually navigate those waters, which is really frustrating as a landowner.

Of course, we always recommend that you consult an attorney, a water rights attorney, a CPA, a financial analyst when looking to buy land, because again these implications are far and wide.

Feel free to reach out to us with questions or other topics you’d like to see covered.

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