Dick Cheney's in town..

Visiting T. Boone Pickens for a few days. T. Boone has a ranch here with an indoor, chilled, running trout stream among other things. He is currently trying to sell the underground water to cities downstate, even though this water is basically the only source of water for this entire area. He bought the rights to thousands of acres, so it’s legally his to sell.

Cheney or Boone is trying to sell the water?

T. Boone…

Sorry, the story got off on a tangent there. Cheney is just in town to visit Pickens, supposedly to do some hunting. Pickens is the one who wants to sell the water. As popular as Cheney is on this board, that’s about how popular T. Boone is around here.

Water law is very complex, but there is precident in other states that may make him use it in your area. Especially if there are indications the only reason he bought the water rights was to resell it.

You might talk to a water attorney.

You better not shout,
You better not cry,
You better not pout,
I’m telling you why…
(Sorry. It had to be done.)

Yeah, but water law is entirely a state issue - precedents in other states won’t help. Talking to a water attorney is a good call, though - there’s probably a local one who would do some pro bono work on it.

It’s already gone through sets of hearings, and I don’t think it’s been resolved yet. The Water Conservation District is the entity trying to thwart his plan. I’d have to dig back (and I might be mistaken on some points), but I think the precedent was set when a local utility was granted permission to use the groundwater for cooling in their power generating plants. They purchased water rights for this, and then sold surplus water.

T. Boone looks at it as no different than selling oil or any other mineral that you can purchase rights for, except the Ogallala aquifer isn’t a strictly local resource. He would be draining the entire aquifer even though he was pumping it from land where he controlled the rights.

If you are not familiar with Mr. Pickens, I suggest a quick Google. That will give you a better understanding of his personal and business ethics, as well as an indication of the resources he can tap to fight any legal battles.

Mr. Rape is like the weather, if it’s inevitable you might as well sit back and enjoy it Pickens?

Yeah, way more familiar with him that I care to be.

Best of luck to you. Can you involve the other users of the Ogallala aquifer in the proceedings? Water issues were always the easiest ones to mobilize public support for, and the successes (or lack thereof) that we had were almost always proportional to that support.

former conservation district manager in western Nevada

Well, the state of Kansas prevailed against the State of Colorado with regards to the Arkansas river, so maybe there is still some hope for the Ogallala aquifer? It might have to be the state vs. him? IANAL, so I don’t know. I hope he can be thwarted in this.