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RULE §297.43Beneficial Uses

(a) To the extent that State water has not been set aside by the commission under Texas Water Code (TWC), §11.1471(a)(2), to meet downstream instream flow needs or freshwater inflow needs, State water may be appropriated, stored, or diverted for the following purposes of use:

  (1) domestic and municipal;

  (2) industrial;

  (3) agriculture;

  (4) mining and the recovery of minerals;

  (5) hydroelectric power;

  (6) navigation;

  (7) recreation and pleasure;

  (8) public parks;

  (9) game preserves;

  (10) recharge into an aquifer underlying this state other than an aquifer described under subsection (b) of this section through surface infiltration or an aquifer recharge project as defined by TWC, §27.201; and

  (11) other beneficial purposes of use recognized by law.

(b) Unappropriated storm water and floodwater may be appropriated to recharge freshwater bearing sands and aquifers in the portion of the Edwards Aquifer located within Kinney, Uvalde, Medina, Bexar, Comal, and Hays Counties if it can be established by expert testimony that an unreasonable loss of state water will not occur and that the water can be withdrawn at a later time for application to a beneficial use. The normal or ordinary flow of a stream or watercourse may never be appropriated, diverted, or used by a water right holder for this recharge purpose.

(c) The amount of water appropriated for each purpose listed under this section shall be specifically appropriated for that purpose. The commission may authorize the appropriation of a single amount or volume of water for more than one purpose of use. In the event that a single amount or volume of water is appropriated for more than one purpose of use, the total amount of water actually diverted for all of the authorized purposes may not exceed the total amount of water appropriated.

(d) State policy regarding preferences for certain type uses provided by Texas Water Code (TWC), §11.024, does not alter the basic principle of priority based upon first in time established under TWC, §11.027. Rather, such preferences will be used, in part, by the commission in determining which competing new uses will be granted water rights as provided by TWC, §11.123.

(e) The water of any arm, inlet, or bay of the Gulf of Mexico may be changed from salt water to sweet or fresh water and held or stored by dams, dikes, or other structures and may be taken or diverted for any purpose authorized by this chapter.

Source Note: The provisions of this §297.43 adopted to be effective February 24, 1999, 24 TexReg 1162; amended to be effective August 15, 2002, 27 TexReg 7152; amended to be effective May 28, 2020, 45 TexReg 3452

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