In a decision issued on May 27, 2016 the Texas Supreme Court ruled that Texas’ “accommodation doctrine” should also apply to groundwater, in addition to oil and gas.
The accommodation doctrine requires mineral owners — considered the dominant estate — to accommodate the surface owner’s existing use of the land if at all possible. While it doesn’t always stop drilling or pumping operations, the doctrine gives surface landowners some say regarding the circumstances. The ruling also established that the rights of groundwater owners are dominant over those of surface owners. Read more about Coyote Lake Ranch v. City of Lubbock