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For the Home Place Orchard, the trial court calculated the compensation owed as the difference between

the market value of the 228.85 acre-feet of water the Braggs requested and the market value of the 120.2

acre-feet of water they actually received. For the D’Hanis Orchard, the trial court calculated the compensation

owed as the difference between the per acre market value price of farm land with no water rights and the per

acre market value price of farm land with water rights.

The court of appeals concluded that these calculations were incorrect, because the Braggs were not in the

business of selling water – they were in the business of commercial pecan farming. The value of the property

that was taken was the difference between the value of the commercial pecan orchards immediately before

and immediately after the Act was applied to the two Bragg properties.

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Any enhancement to the value of

the property that resulted from the taking may not be considered.

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The Edwards Aquifer Authority and Bragg have filed petitions for review of the court of appeals’ decision,

which are currently pending at the Texas Supreme Court.

City of Lubbock v. Coyote Lake Ranch, LLC

– ownership.

On June 17, 2014, the Amarillo Court of Appeals issued its opinion in

City of Lubbock v. Coyote Lake Ranch,

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holding that the “accommodation doctrine,” which applies to the mineral interests owner’s use of the surface

where mineral ownership has been severed from surface ownership, did not apply to restrict the City’s use of

the surface of the Coyote Lake Ranch’s land to develop the City’s groundwater rights under the land.

In 1953, the City of Lubbock bought the rights to groundwater under the land now owned by Coyote Lake

Ranch, separately from the surface estate. In the deed, the City acquired all groundwater rights, and “the full

and exclusive rights of ingress and egress in, over and on said lands so that the Grantee of said water rights

may at any time and location drill water wells and test wells on said lands for the purpose of investigating,

exploring, producing, and getting access to percolating and underground water.” The deed granted the right

to lay water lines, build reservoirs, booster stations, houses for employees, and roads, “together with the

rights to use all that part of said lands necessary or incidental to the taking of percolating and underground

water and the production, treating

and transmission of water therefrom

and delivery of said water to the water

system of the City of Lubbock only.”

In 2012, the City proposed a well field

plan for the property and began testing

and development under that plan.

Coyote Lake Ranch sued, asking for a

temporary injunction to halt the City’s

activity. Coyote claimed that the City

failed to accommodate Coyote Lake

Ranch’s existing uses of the property

(the opinion does not say what those

uses are), and that the City could use

alternatives that would lessen damage

to Coyote Lake Ranch’s use of the land.

The trial court granted the temporary

injunction, holding that Coyote was

likely to be able to show at trial that

the City’s plan could be “accomplished

through reasonable alternative means

that do not unreasonably interfere with

[Coyote Lake Ranch’s] current uses.”

The City appealed.

In 2011, 2012

and 2013, in

response to

the severe

drought...

TCEQ began

curtailing

diversions

under surface

water rights.