Last month the Texas Supreme Court affirmed the fact that landowners in Texas have an ownership interest in the water that’s under their property.
“On one hand, that means that ground water districts cannot unreasonably restrict a landowner from being able to benefit from the groundwater under their property.”
Texas Water Resources Institute Director Neal Wilkins says the Supreme Court ruling is a double edged sword.
“On the other hand, it means that a landowner can protect that ground water, so that someone else, perhaps a neighbor that, or maybe a municipality that they feel is pumping too heavily and depleting their ground water.”
Jess McCrory farms in Robertson County.
“I’m not totally at ease that we just don’t have any more of a problem, and I don’t think anyone else thinks that we just don’t have any problem at all with water.”
McCrory says it’s easy to see why there’s tension on both sides.
“There’s always going to be a controversy, and going to be a strife between the cities and the landowners and the agricultural interest for water, but now there has to be, there has to be, we have to come to some conclusion to that because we need both. I mean we need to produce food and fiber, we need people to have the water to drink.”
The general lack of understanding of agriculture by non-ag interests doesn’t help when looking for a resolution to the problem.
“We’re trying to be good stewards of the water and plus be good stewards of our land, and we would like for them to be able to understand that and to do the same thing.”
“We’re not watering to make the farm pretty, we’re watering to make a crop.”
I’m Kailey Carey, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.