Texas Water Access Fight Opens Door For Major Policy Shift

By Jess Krochtengel (September 11, 2015, 9:19 PM EDT) -- The Texas Supreme Court has agreed to hear a water rights case that argues for the application of property protections found in oil and gas law to groundwater disputes, opening the door for the high court to make a policy pronouncement about whether groundwater rights trump surface land use, lawyers say.

Coyote Lake Ranch LLC will argue to the high court on Oct. 14 that the accommodation doctrine found in oil and gas law also applies to groundwater, when a property owner has severed its groundwater rights into a separate estate. The ranch is arguing that the city of Lubbock —...

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