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Overview Agency History Scope and Contents of the Records Arrangement of the Records Restrictions Index Terms Related Material Administrative Information Description of Series Texas Water Commission water rights application plans, maps and drawings, 1913-1990, undated, The Texas Water Commission (TWC) protected surface and groundwater quality for the state while ensuring that utility and water district customers received adequate services.Records consist of plans, maps, and drawings for water use applications created by private and public engineers and surveyors, on behalf of applicants, that were filed with the TWC (and its predecessors the Texas Board of Water Engineers, Texas Water Rights Commission, and Texas Department of Water Resources), dating 1913-1990 and undated.Applicants include private landowners, municipalities, river authorities, local water districts, country clubs, and private businesses.The first general law on the subject of water in the state of Texas was the Irrigation Act of 1852 (Texas General Laws, Chapter 74), which authorized counties to regulate the construction, operation, and maintenance of irrigation works.Between 18, multiple special laws were passed granting individuals, cities, and corporations the authority to construct dams and other works for the purpose of water development through irrigation enterprises.In these special acts, the Texas legislature granted private companies the power to construct dams and divert water from a river.The Irrigation Act of 1895 (House Bill 120, 24th Texas Legislature, Regular Session) stated that landowners were no longer automatically entitled to riparian rights on their land.Instead, an entity had to appropriate water rights from the state through established statutory procedures.

The act, also known as the Glasscock Act for its sponsor, centralized the statutory water rights inventory process by providing that waters belonging to the state could only be appropriated pursuant to permits issued by that board through procedures provided in the act.The Texas Board of Water Engineers became the administrative agency to manage the water rights system and was given authority to issue permits for the statutory appropriation of the state's waters.The Irrigation Act of 1917 (House Bill 237, 35th Legislature, Regular Session) clarified the permitting process and added provisions for adjudication of water rights.In 1962, the Texas Board of Water Engineers became the Texas Water Commission (TWC) with additional responsibilities for water conservation and pollution control (House Bill 12, 57th Legislature, 3rd Called Session).