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Water Bank & Water Trust. Barney Austin Surface Water Resources Division Texas Water Development Board May 21, 2004. In 1993, the 73rd Texas Legislature Created the Texas Water Bank :. Codified under § 15.702 in 1993.

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Water Bank & Water Trust

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Water bank water trust

Water Bank & Water Trust

Barney Austin

Surface Water Resources Division

Texas Water Development Board

May 21, 2004


In 1993 the 73rd texas legislature created the texas water bank

In 1993, the 73rd Texas Legislature Created the Texas Water Bank:

Codified under § 15.702 in 1993.

Purpose: The Texas Water Bank was created as a mechanism to allow for and assist in the voluntary transfer of water rights between willing buyers and sellers.


In 1997 the 75rd texas legislature created the texas water trust

In 1997, the 75rd Texas Legislature Created the Texas Water Trust:

  • Codified under § 15.7031 in 1198.

  • Purpose: The Texas Water Trust was established within the water bank to hold water rights dedicated to environmental needs, including instream flows, water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, or bay and estuary inflows.


Water bank activities

Water Bank Activities

  • It was operational in 1994.

  • Several actual ‘deposits’ and various listings in the Registry since 1994.

  • Published A Texan’s Guide To Water and Water Rights Marketing.


Water bank operation

Water Bank Operation

  • The water bank facilitates the marketing and transfer of water and water rights by posting requests to purchase and/or sell water on its website.

    1. Accepts Water Bank Deposits ($50 deposit fee + 0.9% of sale price, if sold)

    2. Maintains a Registry of Sellers (no vetting, no fee)

    3. Maintains a Registry of Buyers (no vetting, no fee)

  • Water rights deposited in the Water Bank are protected from cancellation for a single 10-year period.

  • All Water Bank fees are waived for Water Trust deposits.


Water bank trust transactions

Water Bank/Trust Transactions

  • The one transaction completed through the Water Bank occurred in 1997. A water supply corporation leased 396 acre-ft of agricultural water rights on the San Marcos for municipal supply.

  • The first and only deposit to the Water Trust occurred in August of 2003. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (owner) deposited 1,236 acre-ft of Rio Grande agricultural water rights in perpetuity.


Water trust administration

Water Trust Administration

Water rights placed in the Water Trust must

be amended (by adding ‘instream uses’)

and approved by TCEQ with additional input

and consultation from:

  • Texas Water Development Board

  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

  • Texas Department of Agriculture


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