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Transfers and transactions
In Texas, a water right is a recognized property right. The owner of a water permit has no actual title to the water but only a right to use that water. As with other property rights, a water right can be sold, leased or transferred to another person. As such, the water right can be passed or conveyed automatically with the title to the land, unless reserved in a deed, or can be sold separately from the land. In these cases the water code provides that the written instruments conveying water rights may be recorded in the same manner as a property deed.

Restrictions on Transfers. The water code and rules of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality place certain restrictions on the transfer of water rights. The commission must be notified of the sale of a water right, and a transfer will not be allowed if it would impair other water rights. The water code prohibits the transfer of a water right to another river basin if the transfer will materially harm any person in the watershed from which the water was taken. The physical transport of water from one river basin to another is allowed only if there is no prejudice. In this case, it is the water that is transported and not the water right.