Texas Water Code - WATER § 11.122. Amendments to Water Rights Required

(a) All holders of permits, certified filings, and certificates of adjudication issued under Section 11.323 of this code shall obtain from the commission authority to change the place of use, purpose of use, point of diversion, rate of diversion, acreage to be irrigated, or otherwise alter a water right.  Without obtaining an amendment, the holder of a permit, certified filing, or certificate of adjudication that includes industrial or irrigation use may use or supply water for an agricultural use that was classified as industrial or irrigation before September 1, 2001.

(b) Subject to meeting all other applicable requirements of this chapter for the approval of an application, an amendment, except an amendment to a water right that increases the amount of water authorized to be diverted or the authorized rate of diversion, shall be authorized if the requested change will not cause adverse impact on other water right holders or the environment on the stream of greater magnitude than under circumstances in which the permit, certified filing, or certificate of adjudication that is sought to be amended was fully exercised according to its terms and conditions as they existed before the requested amendment.

(b-1) A holder of a water right that begins using desalinated seawater after acquiring the water right has a right to expedited consideration of an application for an amendment to the water right if the amendment:

(1) authorizes the applicant to divert water from a diversion point that is different from or in addition to the point or points from which the applicant was authorized to divert water before the requested amendment;

(2) authorizes the applicant to divert from the different or additional diversion point an amount of water that is equal to or less than the amount of desalinated seawater used by the applicant;

(3) authorizes the applicant to divert from all of the diversion points authorized by the water right an amount of water that is equal to or less than the amount of water the applicant was authorized to divert under the water right before the requested amendment;

(4) authorizes the applicant to divert water from all of the diversion points authorized by the water right at a combined rate that is equal to or less than the combined rate at which the applicant was authorized to divert water under the water right before the requested amendment;  and

(5) does not authorize the water diverted from the different or additional diversion point to be transferred to another river basin.

(b-2) The executive director or the commission shall prioritize the technical review of an application that is subject to Subsection (b-1) over the technical review of applications that are not subject to that subsection.

(b-3) In addition to an application that meets the requirements of Subsection (b) and for which the commission has determined that notice or an opportunity for a contested case hearing is not required under another statute or a commission rule, an application for an amendment to a water right is exempt from any requirements of a statute or commission rule regarding notice and hearing or technical review by the executive director or the commission and may not be referred to the State Office of Administrative Hearings for a contested case hearing if the executive director determines after an administrative review that the application is for an amendment that:

(1) adds a purpose of use that does not substantially alter:

(A) the nature of the right from a right authorizing only nonconsumptive use to a right authorizing consumptive use;  or

(B) a pattern of use that is explicitly authorized in or required by the original right;

(2) adds a place of use located in the same basin as the place of use authorized by the original right;  or

(3) changes the point of diversion, provided that:

(A) the authorized rate of diversion is not increased;

(B) the original point of diversion and the new point of diversion are located in the same contiguous tract of land;

(C) the original point of diversion and the new point of diversion are from the same source of supply;

(D) there are no points of diversion from the same source of supply associated with other water rights that are located between the original point of diversion and the new point of diversion;

(E) there are no streamflow gauges located on the source of supply between the original point of diversion and the new point of diversion that are referenced in the original water right or in another water right authorizing a diversion from the same source of supply;  and

(F) there are no tributary watercourses that enter the watercourse that is the source of supply located between the original point of diversion and the new point of diversion.

(c) The commission shall adopt rules to effectuate the provisions of this section.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Texas Water Code - WATER § 11.122. Amendments to Water Rights Required - last updated April 14, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/water-code/water-sect-11-122.html


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