Had a great one-day symposium yesterday as part of the 50th Anniversary of the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources (now Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences). Water lawyer and historian extraordinaire Robert Glennon turned me on to this 2004 report (#361) from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB): 100 Years of Rule of Capture: From East to Groundwater Management.
From the editors:
On behalf of the Texas Water Development Board, we want to welcome you to the 100 Years of Rule of Capture: From East to Groundwater Management symposium. Whether your interests are in groundwater policy, groundwater management, groundwater science, or just a general fascination with this most precious natural resource, it is our goal that your interests in groundwater benefit from the presentations and discussions (and probable debates) planned for this symposium. While public debate in Texas on the Rule of Capture has been going on throughout the last 100 years, the intensity and passion of the debate seems to have greatly increased over the last decade. This was especially evident with passage of Senate Bill 1 in 1997, Senate Bill 1911 in 1999, Senate Bill 2 in 2001, and the most recent deliberations by the Senate Select Committee on Water Policy in 2003-2004. As we pause to reflect on the 100 years (and two days) that have passed since the landmark Houston & Texas Central Railway Co. vs East Supreme Court decision handed down on June 13, 1904, one can only wonder what the future holds. We have invited a diverse group of groundwater experts to present their own ideas, both verbally and in writing, on the past, present, and future of groundwater law in Texas. Perhaps ideas brought forward as part of this symposium will have a significant effect on what the future will hold.
This symposium volume has been prepared and made available to the public for two reasons. First, we want to offer those not able to attend the symposium an opportunity to benefit from the materials, discussions and issues that are to be presented. Second, we believe this symposium volume will make a powerful reference document for students of groundwater for many years to come.
In order to ensure a broad, balanced, and relevant list of both topics and speakers for this symposium, we sought out prominent members of the groundwater community to serve on the 100 Years of Rule of Capture: From East to Groundwater Management Advisory Board. What an honor it was for us to be able to work with the likes of Corwin Johnson, Professor Emeritus, The University of Texas Law School; Andrew Sansom, Executive Director, Institute for Sustainable Water Resources, Texas State University; John M. Sharp, Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin,; and Jace Houston, General Counsel, Harris-Galveston Coastal Subsidence District, during the development of this symposium. We also want to offer our sincere appreciation to all of the speakers who took the time that was required out of their busy schedules to prepare the high-quality papers included herein. Finally, we want to recognize and extend our special thanks to Robert Mace, Edward Angle, and Cynthia Ridgeway. We would also like to thank Ruben Ochoa, Carla Daws, Sissie Stacy, Ann Omoegbele, Angela Freytag, Deborah Reyes, Ryan Long, Kelly Burton, Ruben Hernandez, Mike Parcher, and Tina Newstrom for their remarkable dedication to this special effort. Without their persistence and professionalism, neither the symposium nor Report 361 could have been possible.
William F. Mullican III
Deputy Executive Administrator Texas Water Development Board
Texas Water Development Board
More information on Texas water law here.
"We're not talking about conserving water. We're talking about controlling water. That's the deal." - J.O. Dawdy, irrigator, Plainview, TX