Texas Water Wars

Source:  Texas Agriculture Law Blog

In the past several years, Texas has been fighting against its neighbors for water on various fronts. In South Texas, a battle between the United States and Mexico is directly impacting farmers in the Rio Grande Valley. This battle has become so critical that legislation is pending in the United States Congress to seek to require Mexico’s compliance with their obligations under a 1944 treaty. In North Texas, the Tarrant Regional Water Board took its fight for water from a Red River tributary to the United States Supreme Court. In April, the Court found in favor of Oklahoma, ruling that Texas could not enter into Oklahoma to remove water from the tributary for use in Texas. Finally, in the El Paso area, a dispute with New Mexico with regard to waters of the Rio Grande has escalated and Texas has filed suit seeking the United States Supreme Court to hear this matter as well. Texas alleges that New Mexico is making improper surface and groundwater diversions between the Elephant Butte Reservoir and the state line, thereby depleting flows to Texas. The three-part Texas Agriculture Law series, Texas Water Wars, discuses each of these disputes in detail.

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