Texas Water Code § 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)  1 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)  2 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.

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

1  As added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., ch. 429 (S.B. 1430).
2  Subsection (b-1) as added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., ch. 1097 (H.B. 3735) designates this paragraph as (4).

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