The following words and terms, when used in this chapter and
in Chapters 288 and 295 of this title (relating to Water Conservation
Plans, Drought Contingency Plans, Guidelines and Requirements; and
Water Rights, Procedural, respectively), shall have the following
meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
(1) Agriculture or agricultural--Any of the following
(A) cultivating the soil to produce crops for human
food, animal feed, or planting seed or for the production of fibers;
(B) the practice of floriculture, viticulture, silviculture,
and horticulture, including the cultivation of plants in containers
or non-soil media by a nursery grower;
(C) raising, feeding, or keeping animals for breeding
purposes or for the production of food or fiber, leather, pelts, or
other tangible products having a commercial value;
(D) raising or keeping equine animals;
(E) wildlife management;
(F) planting cover crops, including cover crops cultivated
for transplantation, or leaving land idle for the purpose of participating
in any governmental program or normal crop or livestock rotation procedure;
(G) aquaculture as defined in Texas Agriculture Code, §134.001,
which reads "'aquaculture' or 'fish farming' means the business of
producing and selling cultured species raised in private facilities.
Aquaculture or fish farming is an agricultural activity."
(2) Agricultural use--Any use or activity involving
agriculture, including irrigation.
(3) Appropriations--The process or series of operations
by which an appropriative right is acquired. A completed appropriation
thus results in an appropriative right; the water to which a completed
appropriation in good standing relates is appropriated water.
(4) Appropriative right--The right to impound, divert,
store, take, or use a specific quantity of state water acquired by
(5) Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project--A project
involving the injection of water into a geologic formation for the
purpose of subsequent recovery and beneficial use by the project operator.
(6) Baseflow or normal flow--The portion of streamflow
uninfluenced by recent rainfall or flood runoff and is comprised of
springflow, seepage, discharge from artesian wells or other groundwater
sources, and the delayed drainage of large lakes and swamps. (Accountable
effluent discharges from municipal, industrial, agricultural, or other
uses of ground or surface waters may be included at times.)
(7) Beneficial inflows--Freshwater inflows providing
for a salinity, nutrient, and sediment loading regime adequate to
maintain an ecologically sound environment in the receiving bay and
estuary that is necessary for the maintenance of productivity of economically
important and ecologically characteristic sport or commercial fish
and shellfish species and estuarine life upon which such fish and
shellfish are dependent.
(8) Beneficial use--Use of the amount of water which
is economically necessary for a purpose authorized by law, when reasonable
intelligence and reasonable diligence are used in applying the water
to that purpose and shall include conserved water.
(9) Certificate of adjudication--An instrument evidencing
a water right issued to each person adjudicated a water right in conformity
with the provisions of Texas Water Code, §11.323, or the final
judgment and decree in State of Texas v. Hidalgo County Water Control
and Improvement District No. 18, 443 S.W.2d 728 (Texas Civil Appeals
- Corpus Christi 1969, writ ref. n.r.e.).
(10) Certified filing--A declaration of appropriation
or affidavit which was filed with the State Board of Water Engineers
under the provisions of the 33rd Legislature, 1913, General Laws,
Chapter 171, §14, as amended.
(11) Claim--A sworn statement filed under Texas Water
(12) Commencement of construction--An actual, visible
step beyond planning or land acquisition, which forms the beginning
of the on-going (continuous) construction of a project in the manner
specified in the approved plans and specifications, where required,
for that project. The action must be performed in good faith with
the bona fide intent to proceed with the construction.
(13) Conservation--Those practices, techniques, and
technologies that will reduce the consumption of water, reduce the
loss or waste of water, improve the efficiency in the use of water,
or increase the recycling and reuse of water so that a water supply
is made available for future or alternative uses.
(14) Conserved water--That amount of water saved by
a water right holder through practices, techniques, or technologies
that would otherwise be irretrievably lost to all consumptive beneficial
uses arising from the storage, transportation, distribution, or application
of the water. Conserved water does not mean water made available simply
through its non-use without the use of such practices, techniques,
(15) Dam--Any artificial structure, together with any
appurtenant works, which impounds or stores water. All structures
which are necessary to impound a single body of water shall be considered
as one dam. A structure used only for diverting water from a watercourse
by gravity is a diversion dam.
(16) Diffused surface water--Water on the surface of
the land in places other than watercourses. Diffused water may flow
vagrantly over broad areas coming to rest in natural depressions,
playa lakes, bogs, or marshes. (An essential characteristic of diffused
water is that its flow is short-lived.)
(17) District--Any district or authority created by
authority of the Texas Constitution, either Article III, §52,
(b), (1) and (2), or Article XVI, §59.
(18) Domestic use--Use of water by an individual or
a household to support domestic activity. Such use may include water
for drinking, washing, or culinary purposes; for irrigation of lawns,
or of a family garden and/or orchard; for watering of domestic animals;
and for water recreation including aquatic and wildlife enjoyment.
If the water is diverted, it must be diverted solely through the efforts
of the user. Domestic use does not include water used to support activities
for which consideration is given or received or for which the product
of the activity is sold.
(19) Drought of record--The historic period of record
for a watershed in which the lowest flows were known to have occurred
based on naturalized streamflow.
(20) Firm yield--That amount of water, that the reservoir
could have produced annually if it had been in place during the worst
drought of record. In performing this simulation, naturalized streamflows
will be modified as appropriate to account for the full exercise of
upstream senior water rights is assumed as well as the passage of
sufficient water to satisfy all downstream senior water rights valued
at their full authorized amounts and conditions as well as the passage
of flows needed to meet all applicable permit conditions relating
to instream and freshwater inflow requirements.
(21) Groundwater--Water under the surface of the ground
other than underflow of a stream and underground streams, whatever
may be the geologic structure in which it is standing or moving.
(22) Habitat Mitigation--Actions taken to off-set anticipated
adverse environmental impacts from a proposed project. Such actions
and their sequence include:
(A) avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a
certain action or parts of an action or pursuing a reasonably practicable
(B) minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude
of the action and its implementation;
(C) rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating,
or restoring the affected environment;
(D) reducing or eliminating the impact over time by
preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the project;
(E) compensating for the impact by replacing or providing
substitute resources or environments.
(23) Hydropower use--The use of water for hydroelectric
and hydromechanical power and for other mechanical devices of like
(24) Industrial use--The use of water in processes
designed to convert materials of a lower order of value into forms
having greater usability and commercial value, including the development
of power by means other than hydroelectric, but does not include agricultural
(25) Instream use--The beneficial use of instream flows
for such purposes including, but not limited to, navigation, recreation,
hydropower, fisheries, game preserves, stock raising, park purposes,
aesthetics, water quality protection, aquatic and riparian wildlife
habitat, freshwater inflows for bays and estuaries, and any other
instream use recognized by law. An instream use is a beneficial use
of water. Water necessary to protect instream uses for water quality,
aquatic and riparian wildlife habitat, recreation, navigation, bays
and estuaries, and other public purposes may be reserved from appropriation
by the commission.
(26) Irrigation--The use of water for the irrigation
of crops, trees, and pasture land, including, but not limited to,
golf courses and parks which do not receive water through a municipal
(27) Irrigation water efficiency--The percentage of
that amount of irrigation water which is beneficially used by agriculture
crops or other vegetation relative to the amount of water diverted
from the source(s) of supply. Beneficial uses of water for irrigation
purposes include but are not limited to evapotranspiration needs for
vegetative maintenance and growth and salinity management and leaching
requirements associated with irrigation.
(28) Livestock use--The use of water for the open-range
watering of livestock, exotic livestock, game animals or fur-bearing
animals. For purposes of this definition, the terms livestock and
exotic livestock are to be used as defined in Texas Agriculture Code, §142.001,
and the terms game animals and fur-bearing animals are to be used
as defined in Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, §63.001 and §71.001,
(29) Mariculture--The propagation and rearing of aquatic
species, including shrimp, other crustaceans, finfish, mollusks, and
other similar creatures in a controlled environment using brackish
or marine water.
(30) Marine seawater--Water that is derived from the
Gulf of Mexico.
(31) Mining use--The use of water for mining processes
including hydraulic use, drilling, washing sand and gravel, and oil
(32) Municipal per capita water use--The sum total
of water diverted into a water supply system for residential, commercial,
and public and institutional uses divided by actual population served.
(33) Municipal use--
(A) The use of potable water within a community or
municipality and its environs for domestic, recreational, commercial,
or industrial purposes or for the watering of golf courses, parks
and parkways, other public or recreational spaces; or
(B) the use of reclaimed water in lieu of potable water
for the preceding purposes; or
(C) the use of return flows authorized pursuant to
Texas Water Code, §11.042, in lieu of potable water for the preceding
purposes. Return flows used for human consumption as defined in §290.38(34)
of this title (relating to Definitions) must be of a quality suitable
for the authorized beneficial use as may be required by applicable
commission rules; or
(D) the application of municipal sewage effluent on
land, under a Texas Water Code, Chapter 26, permit where:
(i) the application site is land owned or leased by
the Chapter 26 permit holder; or
(ii) the application site is within an area for which
the commission has adopted a no-discharge rule.
(34) Navigable stream--By law, Texas Natural Resources
Code, §21.001(3), any stream or streambed as long as it maintains
from its mouth upstream an average width of 30 feet or more, at which
point it becomes statutorily nonnavigable.
(35) Nursery grower--A person engaged in the practice
of floriculture, viticulture, silviculture, and horticulture, including
the cultivation of plants in containers or nonsoil media, who grows
more than 50% of the products that the person either sells or leases,
regardless of the variety sold, leased, or grown. For the purpose
of this definition, grow means the actual cultivation or propagation
of the product beyond the mere holding or maintaining of the item
prior to sale or lease and typically includes activities associated
with the production or multiplying of stock such as the development
of new plants from cuttings, grafts, plugs, or seedlings.
(36) One-hundred-year flood--The flood peak discharge
of a stream, based upon statistical data, which would have a 1.0%
chance of occurring in any given year.
(37) Permit--The authorization by the commission to
a person whose application for a permit has been granted. A permit
also means any water right issued, amended, or otherwise administered
by the commission unless the context clearly indicates that the water
right being referenced is being limited to a certificate of adjudication,
certified filing, or unadjudicated claim.