IN the 21st century, water may be as important to the Texas economy as oil and gas were in the last. In an American state where the urban population is expected to double over the next 50 years and where the majority of surface reservoirs have already been developed, the importance of ground water sources is paramount.

Urban and rural communities are in conflict over who owns this precious and, for the most part, non-renewable resource, which has traditionally been the preserve of farmers but which urban water utilities are increasingly ...

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