Texas Property Code § 21.0421. Assessment of Damages:  Groundwater Rights

(a) In a condemnation proceeding initiated by a political subdivision under this chapter, the special commissioners or court shall admit evidence relating to the market value of groundwater rights as property apart from the land in addition to the local market value of the real property if:

(1) the political subdivision proposes to condemn the fee title of real property;  and

(2) the special commissioners or court finds, based on evidence submitted at the hearing, that the real property may be used by the political subdivision to develop or use the rights to groundwater for a public purpose.

(b) The evidence submitted under Subsection (a) on the market value of the groundwater rights as property apart from the land shall be based on generally accepted appraisal methods and techniques, including the methods of appraisal under Subchapter A, Chapter 23, Tax Code.

(c) If the special commissioners or court finds that the real property may be used by the political subdivision to develop or use the rights to groundwater for a public purpose, the special commissioners or court may assess damages to the property owner based on:

(1) the local market value of the real property, excluding the value of the groundwater in place, at the time of the hearing;  and

(2) the market value of the groundwater rights as property apart from the land at the time of the hearing.

(d) In assessing damages based on the market value of groundwater rights under Subsection (c)(2), the special commissioners or court shall consider:

(1) the amount of groundwater the political subdivision can reasonably be expected to produce from the property on an annual basis;

(2) the number of years the political subdivision can reasonably be expected to produce groundwater from the property;

(3) the quality of the groundwater;

(4) the location of the real property in relation to the political subdivision for conveyance purposes;

(5) any potential environmental impact of producing groundwater from the real property;

(6) whether or not the real property is located within the boundaries of a political subdivision that can regulate the production of groundwater from the real property;

(7) the cost of alternative water supplies to the political subdivision;  and

(8) any other reasonable factor that affects the market value of a groundwater right.

(e) This section does not:

(1) authorize groundwater rights appraised separately from the real property under this section to be appraised separately from real property for property tax appraisal purposes;  or

(2) subject real property condemned for the purpose described by Subsection (a) to an additional tax as provided by Section 23.46 or 23.55, Tax Code .


FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.