Texas Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Groundwater Rights (Posted By Gary Cutrer)

This press release from TSCRA says it all:

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) today [Feb 24] applauded the opinion of the Texas Supreme Court in the Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Burrell Day and Joel McDaniel case regarding whether or not landowners own the groundwater below their land.

“The Texas Supreme Court has affirmed that landowners own the groundwater in place below their land and that it is subject to constitutional protection as a property right,” said Joe Parker Jr, rancher and president of TSCRA.

“This opinion is a victory for Texas landowners and will be important for generations to come.  It also recognizes the important legislation, S.B. 332, that was passed by the Legislature in 2011” Parker said.

“TSCRA would like to thank the Texas Supreme Court for their diligent efforts in writing this opinion,” Parker continued.

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Ranchers, Farmers Cautiously Optimistic about Rains (Posted By Gary Cutrer)

Heavy rains in Central and East Texas and soaking rains in West Texas fell the last two days. Some occasional showers and light but soaking rains have occurred since the first of the year with the latest rains doing a lot of good in West Texas and actually causing some minor flash flooding in the San Antonio and Austin areas.

Farmers are watching the skies closely in preparation for the upcoming planting season. Ranchers are thankful to have any moisture at all across grazing lands in Texas, even though much of the livestock inhabiting those pastures has been sold off.

Winter weeds are emerging and providing feed for goats and sheep still left out there. Winter wheat pastures are surviving now that  the rain has come. This year is already an improvement over the tinder dry conditions of 2011 when spring winds whipped up a record number of wildfires across Texas.

With the prognostication that La Nina will continue to influence the weather of the Southwestern U.S. in the dry direction, ag producers are crossing their fingers that those predictions are wrong and that the occasional rains will continue.

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NWS: La Niña to Dissipate by May 2012 (Posted By Gary Cutrer)

Pressure departures: El Nino vs. La Nina.

Pressure departures: El Nino vs. La Nina.

End-of-2011 predictions called for the La Niña Pacific Ocean phenomenon to prolong extreme drought conditions in areas of North America through 2012.

But now, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting a transition to “ENSO-neutral conditions during March-May 2012.”

ENSO stands for El Niño/Southern Oscillation

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Water News (Posted By Mike Mecke)

Authority Seals Water Deal With Pickens

By Kevin Welch    Amarillo Globe-News    Dec. 29, 2011

The largest water transaction in Texas Panhandle history became final Thursday. The Canadian River Municipal Water Authority paid wealthy oil and gas man T. Boone Pickens’ Mesa Water $103 million for about 211,000 acres of water rights. The deal covers about 4 trillion gallons of water.

Amarillo is one of 11 cities that make up the authority. It uses about 40 percent of the water produced by the group and will repay that much of the bonds used to finance the deal. Lubbock is the other large member of the group that started out using water from Lake Meredith in 1965 to supplement the cities’ own supplies.

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