Farm Bureau wins Brazos water rights case
Waco – A decision in favor of the Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) in a lawsuit filed against the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is “a victory for property rights in Texas,” according to TFB President Kenneth Dierschke. The decision was handed down Thursday in the 53rd Civil District Court of Judge Scott H. Jenkins in Austin.
TCEQ had bypassed senior water rights holders, many of whom are farmers, normally protected by the doctrine of “first in time, first in right.” Ignoring that long established doctrine, the agency had exempted water rights putting junior rights holders along the Brazos River at the front of the line without compensating the senior rights holders. This junior group is comprised of cities and power generators.
“Clearly, TCEQ overstepped its bounds in failing to compensate these senior holders for the loss of their property rights,” said Dierschke. “The agency went outside the statutory authority granted by the Legislature. We are very pleased with the decision.”
TCEQ has 30 days to appeal.