Conserve Precious Groundwater Supplies


Target: Governor of Texas, Rick Perry

Goal: Protect farms and communities from devastating drought by discouraging wasteful water usage

An archaic ‘rule of capture’ law upheld by the state of Texas allows landowners to pump as much groundwater as they would like. With the ever increasing drought so prominent in Texas, the rule of capture law is now endangering precious aquifers. The most in danger is American’s biggest aquifer, the Ogallala, situated in Texas’ high plains.

The Texas ‘rule of capture’ law was established in 1904 and is still practiced with few amendments. The rule of capture allows landowners the right to own the groundwater beneath their land and capture as much of that water as they desire. The water can then be used or even sold. Unlike Texas, other states in the U.S. regard groundwater as state-owned. Texas’ practice does not secure water for future needs.

Action must be taken now to amend this law to protect the future of water in Texas. The area in most danger is the Texas panhandle. The panhandle sits on top of the Ogallala Aquifer, which spans from Texas to North Dakota. The land over the Ogallala aquifer is known as America’s ‘breadbasket,’ because this area is heavily used for agriculture to feed our nation.

Although Texas has implemented some authority over the rule of capture, it seems not much has been done in regards to effective regulations. Groundwater Conservation Districts were created to monitor groundwater usage. However, they have not made any significant changes to limit or enforce the ‘rule of capture.’

By signing the petition below, you are urging Texas Governor Rick Perry to repeal the groundwater law of capture and enforce Groundwater Conservation Districts to monitor pumping and implement groundwater conservation practices.


Dear Governor Perry,

The ‘right of capture’ law regarding groundwater in Texas does not account for future water needs. The law allows landowners to capture as much groundwater underneath their land as they desire. Although Groundwater Conservation Districts have been set in place, the ‘right of capture’ law defeats their purpose. Furthermore, the monitoring done through Groundwater Conservation Districts is little to none.

I strongly urge you to repeal the ‘right of capture’ groundwater law and strengthen the standards for groundwater conservation to save the future of Texas. With 80% of Texas groundwater diverted to agriculture, a lack of groundwater in the future will cause drought and unemployment. Please take action for Texas groundwater conservation.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Andreas. via Flicker

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125 Signatures

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