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Relating to the transfer of certain permitted irrigation water
rights related to a certain portion of the Edwards Aquifer.
No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 3656 would make changes to the transfer of water rights in certain circumstances within the Edwards Aquifer Authority. This bill would allow the owner of historically irrigated land to sever all or a portion of the remaining water rights in proportion to developed or undeveloped land that is no longer suitable for farming and thus no longer needing to be irrigated. Water rights severed may change in purpose or place of use. The Edwards Aquifer Authority would be charged with adopting rules necessary to implement the provisions of the bill.
The Authority would also be allowed to adopt rules to provide for a holder of an initial regular permit for use in irrigation to lease all or part of the water rights for use in irrigation, including land not described by the original permit. Rules adopted under this subsection may allow the holder of an initial regular permit to use the water rights temporarily for irrigation in an area other than the land for which the permit was issued.
Texas Action supports HB 3656 on the basis of property rights and limited government because the bill would allow water rights in the circumstances described to be repurposed as land use is repurposed.