From The Ground Up: Deciding what is considered a body of water

KBTX Brazos Valley This Morning(Recurring)
Updated: Mar. 16, 2023 at 6:00 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Water that is easily accessible is vital to producers in order for them to grow crops.

Some states are fighting for control of their streams but now there are questions about what is actually considered a body of water.

Bryan Shaw, former chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, says there are discussions that a body of water either alone or with other similar streams could significantly affect the integrity of a larger water source.

“Just because when it rains, that water is connected, that doesn’t make that become jurisdictional water. It needs to be, if not permanent, close to permanent. So most times of the year, most years that water is touching in some way.

States are also concerned that the new Waters of the U.S. rule will have a number of consequences that could hurt them financially.

“It certainly would raise the cost of doing something. Some people it will discourage them from doing a project at all, whether it’s building a house or it’s doing some economic venture because the risk is too high to be able to do that,” said Shaw.

The new Waters of the U.S. rule will go into effect on March 30.