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Water Wars in the Permian?

Solaris Water Midstream announced last month that it is building an 11-mile water supply line from Loving County to Eddy County, New Mexico that will be able to transport about 150,000 barrels of day to supply water for completion operations in Eddy County. The water comes from wells in Loving County.

Some authorities in New Mexico are concerned that the Texas water comes from the same aquifer that extends into New Mexico.  Loving County is not in a groundwater district, so there is no regulation of water wells, and landowners are free to pump as much as they like under the “rule of capture.”  Groundwater is regulated in New Mexico, which taxes groundwater extracted in Eddy County.  Aubrey Dunn, the state land commissioner in New Mexico, has complained that New Mexico is missing out on millions of dollars in taxes and suffering from depletion of its groundwater: “they’re taking water that’s New Mexico’s, pumping it out in Texas, and selling it back to us. It’s depleting a resource from future generations being able to use it.”  He says New Mexico should sue Texas to force it to enact groundwater regulations. Dunn is running for the U.S. Senate as a Libertarian.

As they say, in Texas – Whiskey’s for drinkin’, water’s for fightin’.

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