Texas groundwater rights and immunities: from East to Day and beyond
Vol. 5 No. 1 (2014). Cover photo: Lake Buchanan, Burnet County. ©2014. Mark Lee, Lower Colorado River Authority.


groundwater law
rule of capture
absolute ownership
Supreme Court of Texas

How to Cite

Drummond, Dylan O. 2014. “Texas Groundwater Rights and Immunities: from East to Day and Beyond”. Texas Water Journal 5 (1). College Station, Texas:59-94. https://doi.org/10.21423/twj.v5i1.7013.


For well over a century, the debate has raged over what interest, if any, landowners possess in the groundwater beneath their property, as well as what degree of tortious immunity a neighboring landowner enjoys for draining adjoining groundwater. After the Texas Supreme Court’s 2012 decision in Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Day, and the Texas Legislature’s 2011 amendments to the Texas Water Code, these debates appear to have been finally settled—for now!

This article traces the jurisprudential development of Texas groundwater law, from its earliest origins in ancient Rome through to the most influential and substantive decisions of the Texas Supreme Court and legislation from the Texas Legislature. It also examines what cases are on the horizon that may yet affect Texas groundwater law in the coming years.

Citation: Drummond DO. 2014. Texas groundwater rights and immunities: from East to Day and beyond. Texas Water Journal. 5(1):59-94. Available from: https://doi.org/10.21423/twj.v5i1.7013.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2014 Dylan O. Drummond