Sitting for the court: Justice Paul W. Green, Justice Nathan L. Hecht, Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, Justice Phil Johnson, Justice David Medina, Justice Dale Wainwright, Justice Don R. Willett, Justice Scott A. Brister, Justice Harriet O'Neill
Canyon Regional Water Authority v. Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority
from Guadalupe County and the Fourth District Court of Appeals, San Antonio
For petitioner: Gregory S. Coleman, Austin
For respondent: David P. Blanke, Austin
The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the issue of whether 'paramount use' question in water authority's condemnation in public lake.
The issue is whether the river authority, the owner of a lake, offered sufficient evidence challenging the water authority's condemnation of part of the lake to require the water authority to show its water need was paramount to the lake's prior public use. In this case, the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority sued after negotiations broke down on the water authority's plan to build a second water intake on Lake Dunlap near New Braunfels. The river authority argues that the intake interferes with the lake's recreational use. The trial court held that Canyon Regional Water Authority had rights to construct the intake under an existing easement, but the court of appeals reversed, holding that the easement allowed only one intake and that water authority offered no evidence of a paramount public use.