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Water School

Can I pump water from the river to water my lawn?

In Texas, anyone who wants to use surface water must first get permission from the state, unless they are using the water for one of several “exempt uses” in the Texas Water Code.

Some exemptions include domestic and livestock use, wildlife management, and other specified uses (see Texas Water Code Section 11.142 ).

Property owners have a right to draw water from a stream or natural water body that crosses or borders their land for domestic and livestock use, which includes watering a lawn. They are allowed to take water for a reasonable use and are protected against unreasonable use by others. A property owner may not be able to divert water from a lake owned by someone else and cannot divert water released from a lake for another user. Any water taken from a stream or water body cannot be transferred to land that is not adjacent to the stream and the water cannot be used for commercial purposes.

If you have additional questions about using water for exempt domestic and livestock purposes, please contact the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Water Rights Permitting Program at wras@tceq.texas.gov or by phone at 512-239-4600.

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The information provided on this site is intended as background on water within the Brazos River basin. There should be no expectation that this information is all encompassing, complete or in any way examines every aspect of this very complex natural resource.

If you have questions about a post or would like additional information, please contact us or call 888-922-6272.

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