Aug 23 2009
If land is seized by a government as part of an eminent domain action, what about the water rights attached to the land – and how are they compensated for?
That has turned into a key question in the legal case concerning property which had been owned by 7KX Investment, in Bell County, Texas (in the Temple area). The land sits atop the Edwards Aquifer, and active wells from the property tapped into it. Two parcels from that property (which did not include the wells) were taken by the state for public purchases, but a dispute arose over the state’s proposed price of under $400,000: The owners said that wasn’t enough to compensate for lost water rights.
Hydro geologist Richard Thornhill and the law firm Dawson, Sodd, Ellis & Hodge worked on the case for the owners, and concluded that the land purchased by the state would deprive the owners of significant water access – cutting into their water rights.