Your spouse won’t listen? We will. LAW 01 I ICES OF Martin H. Boozer MATRIMONIAL LAW Creative solutions for one of life’s most difficult prohlems. 902 Rio Grande Street 512. 476.7500 I m.mozer Imozeriaw.eom Board Certified Family Law add that “responsibility for the regulation of natural resources, including groundwater, rests in the hands of the Legislature.” But the legislature has not eliminated the rule of capture, only created a complicated regulatory structure to mitigate it. In 1949, the legislature created groundwater conservation districts, or GCDs, which allow communities to ration water among residents. These agencies have not solved the rule-of-capture problem. Farmers and ranchers appreciate the protection their local GCD provides from water miners, but many times these same farmers and ranchers become furious when the GCD limits the groundwater they can use for irrigation. Some have sued GCD for compensation. The Texas Supreme Court will soon consider Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Day, which could settle the confusion over groundwater law for everyone. The story of San Antonio’s water management remains a cautionary tale for the state. In 1993, two real estate developers drilled a wellthe infamous “catfish farm well”into the aquifer that produced enough water for a quarter of the city’s population for a year. Yet the city and state could do nothing to stop them. In response, that same year the Legislature created the Edwards Aquifer Authority, which now governs the aquifer. Ultimately, local control over water will not be enough. There must be a statewide solution. For one thing, the jurisdictional boundaries of some GCDs do not coincide with the local groundwater pools. As Southern Methodist University historian David Weber observed in 1976, “There is a saying in the West that `water does not run downhill. It runs towards money.’ Without a coherent, statewide water policy, entrepre neurs like T. Boone Pickens and others are going to find a way to sell water from rural farming communities to thirsty cities like San Antonio. In rural areas, land prices are determined by their water sources. If that water is sold to cities, we could destroy the rural tax base and the lifestyle it supports. History proves that the rule of capture is disastrous and unfair. Our policymakers must acknowledge that surface water, groundwater, and rain runoff depend on one another. Prudent water policy must recognize this interdependence. Our policymakers should follow the example of our Spanish Texas forefathers, who implemented water policies for the common good, no matter how much land they owned or where they lived. Ca Charles R. Porter is an adjunct professor at St. Edward’s University in Austin and is a testifying expert in water rights, real estate and construction nationwide. His most recent book is Spanish Water/Anglo Water. THE SOUP OF BAGHDAD Stacy Campbell A plate falls to the floor this night, the door holds its knocks silence broken by fear . Baba fingers the bowl for onions his kubbeh has cooled like blue veins beneath skin when life dangles on the earlobe of war The wild dogs of East Rashid bawl their alarm, eyes dart another silent goodbye husband to family One last swallow of arak, liquid fire for sanity’s sake, final drip of silence ambushed forearms flex when Baba’s spoon falls even the children drink tonight Stacy Campbell lives in Hurst and teaches English to special education students in Arlington. THE TEXAS OBSERVER . Periodicals Postage paid in Austin, TX, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER Send address changes to: The Texas Observer, 307 W. 7th St., Austin TX 78701. Subscriptions: 1 yr $35, 2 yr $60, 3 yr $85. Students $20. Foreign, add $13 to domestic price. Back issues $5. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm available from University Microfilms Intl., 300 N Zeeb Rd, Ann Arbor MI 48106. INDEXES The Texas Observer is indexed in Access: The Supplementary Index to Periodicals; Texas Index; and, for the years 1954 through 1981, The Texas Observer Index. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING is supported in part by a grant from the Open Society Institute. BOOKS & THE CULTURE is funded in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts. r a j OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE =or, & Soros Foundations Network rear Texas Cniturot Arts Commission Division on the Arts 34 THE TEXAS OBSERVER WWW.TEXASOBSERVER.ORG
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