Garwood Irrigation Company - Page 5

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          withdraw 168,000 acre feet of water per year from the Colorado              
          River for irrigation of up to 32,000 acres of land within its               
          service area.  The Colorado River involved in this case begins in           
          southeastern New Mexico and flows approximately 600 miles from              
          northwestern Texas to southeastern Texas and empties into the               
          Matagorda Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.  For water allocation                 
          purposes, Texas is divided into areas of watershed from its                 
          rivers, called river basins.  The Colorado River Basin is the               
          third largest river basin in Texas.  Petitioner’s service area              
          was located in the lower Colorado River Basin, in Colorado and              
          Wharton counties, Texas.                                                    
               Petitioner’s certificate gave it a priority date of November           
          1, 1900.  In the event of a shortage of water, priority dates               
          determine which rights holders will receive their allocated share           
          of the water that is available.  Holders of water rights with               
          later, or junior, priority dates must let water flow past them              
          until a senior holder receives the full amount of water                     
          authorized by its certificate.  At the time the certificate was             
          issued and at the valuation date, petitioner’s priority date was            
          the most senior in the Colorado River Basin.                                
               As of the valuation date, petitioner’s water right had been            
          used only for irrigation for rice farming.  Petitioner’s only               
          customers were rice farmers, and petitioner’s service of its                
          rice-farming customers had never required petitioner to use all             

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Last modified: May 25, 2011