"Local control is critical to the management of groundwater," said Dave Scott, TSCRA president. "However, that management should recognize and respect landowners' property rights."

The ownership of groundwater is a fundamental and legal right that all landowners have. Scott says the Texas Constitution and more than 100 years of case law support this, but recently, several court cases have challenged this right.

"Landowners are concerned that if action is not taken to reaffirm this property right, they could wake up to find their groundwater rights stripped out from under them by the government and the courts," Scott said.

The Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District has adopted a similar resolution.

"By adopting a resolution recognizing that landowners have a vested ownership interest in groundwater beneath their property, groundwater conservation districts can demonstrate their commitment to recognize property rights to the landowners in their districts," said Todd Fox, Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District vice president.

"Landowners and local government should work together to protect this property right. It's the right thing to do. Government should honor and protect landowners' rights, not take them away," Fox continued.