In this Book

Sharing the Common Pool
summary
If all the people, municipalities, agencies, businesses, power plants, and other entities that think they have a right to the water in Texas actually tried to exercise those rights, there would not be enough water to satisfy all claims, no matter how legitimate. In Sharing the Common Pool: Water Rights in the Everyday Lives of Texans, water rights expert Charles Porter explains in the simplest possible terms who has rights to the water in Texas, who determines who has those rights, and who benefits or suffers because of it.

The origins of Texas water law, which contains elements of the state’s Spanish, English, and Republic heritages, contributed to the development of a system that defines water by where it sits, flows, or falls and assigns its ownership accordingly. Over time, this seemingly logical, even workable, set of expectations has evolved into a tortuous collection of laws, permits, and governing authorities under the onslaught of population growth and competing interests—agriculture, industry, cities—all with insatiable thirsts.

In sections that cover ownership, use, regulation, real estate, and policy, Porter lays out in as straightforward a fashion as possible just how we manage (and mismanage) water in this state, what legal cases have guided the debate, and where the future might take us as old rivalries, new demands, and innovative technologies—such as hydraulic fracturing of oil shale formations (“fracking”)—help redefine water policy.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-4
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  1. Part One: Natural Water, Human Rules
  2. pp. 5-6
  1. 1. The Unique Characteristics of Water and Water Rights in Texas
  2. pp. 7-15
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  1. 2. Water Rights and Water Law in General
  2. pp. 16-20
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  1. Part Two: Who Owns Water?
  2. pp. 21-22
  1. 3. Water: State Owned
  2. pp. 23-33
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  1. 4. Water: Privately Owned
  2. pp. 34-42
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  1. 5. Water: Shared Ownership
  2. pp. 43-50
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  1. Part Three: How is Water Used and Regulated?
  2. pp. 51-52
  1. 6. Supply and Demand, Today and Tomorrow
  2. pp. 53-60
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  1. 7. How We Use Water
  2. pp. 61-77
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  1. 8. Who Regulates Water Use?
  2. pp. 78-108
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  1. Part Four: How Do Water Rights Affect Real Estate Transactions?
  2. pp. 109-110
  1. 9. Water and Everyday Real Estate Transactions
  2. pp. 111-126
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  1. Part Five: What Should Guide Water Policy: "The Common Good" or Private Rights?
  2. pp. 127-128
  1. 10. Public Policy Debates in the Recent Past
  2. pp. 129-159
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  1. 11. Public Policy through the Crystal Ball
  2. pp. 160-176
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 177-178
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  1. Appendix 1: Significant Court Cases Concerning Texas Water Rights
  2. pp. 179-186
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  1. Appendix 2: Government and Other Resources
  2. pp. 187-189
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  1. Appendix 3: Texas Supreme Court Cases and Other Significant Texas Cases
  2. pp. 190-196
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 197-210
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  1. Glossary
  2. pp. 211-216
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 217-234
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 235-247
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  1. Series Page
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  1. Back Cover
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