Water wars ? the next generation – San Antonio Express-News

The water that is in our lakes and streams, ?surface water,? is owned by the state, but groundwater is owned by the landowner as private property with all the constitutional protection that comes with any private property rights. […] recently, many state agencies didn?t believe that to be true ? groundwater was being regulated as if it were owned by the government. Soon after, there was an explosion of districts established in counties across the state, creating a cottage industry of lawyers, consultants and bureaucrats excited about a new playground to grow bureaucracies and tax constituencies. Never mind that humans have been putting water in pipes and pumping it long distances since the Bronze Age; forget the fugacious nature of groundwater that allows water to move from place to place, creating a classic ?taking? of private property claims. The State Water Plan is failing the very people it was designed to protect, not because of evil but because convenient capitalists and their close cousin ? crony capitalism ? formulated a plan that gave preferential treatment to the government over the free market economy. The debt for most of the water providers across Texas continues to increase, but the government skims a fee, leaving a smaller piece of the pie to pay for much-needed repairs and maintenance. The much-needed capital that is being siphoned away from water infrastructure investment by the government will have a devastating effect on our future water supplies. Shrink the size of government, eliminate these 100 new agencies, and replace them with water management that is coterminous with aquifer boundaries and not political subdivisions.

Source: Water wars ? the next generation – San Antonio Express-News