Preserving Groundwater Rights for Your Beneficiaries in the Face of the Texas Water Crisis with the Private Water Trust



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Estate Planning and Community Property Law Journal


The goal of this comment is to outline a brief history of water trusts in the United States and to provide guidance for estate planners interested in creating private groundwater trusts for their clients. Part I gives a general understanding of the problems facing Texan groundwater users. Part II highlights a brief history of the public water trust in the United States, focusing on the problems which these trusts seek to resolve, as well as their inadequacies and innovations. Part III focuses on the Texas Legislature’s attempt to use the water trust to protect state water resources. Finally, Part IV uses the lessons learned from the public water trust and the best practices of private land trust formation to create a legal strategy for the formation of a private groundwater trust.



Estate planning, Private water trust, Groundwater rights, Beneficiaries, Ogallala aquifer, Public water trust, Drought, American Ground Water Trust, Water Well Trust, New Mexico Water Trust Fund, Idaho Petroleum Clean Water Trust Fund, Texas Public Water Trust, Private groundwater


12 Est. Plan. & Cmty. Prop. L. J. 309