Who has more Water Rights a Data Center or a Farmer?

MSNBC covers the worsening drought conditions for Texas Farmers.

Drought so far cost Texas farms record $5.2 billion

'I think it's going to get bigger' once harvest is in, official says

Image: Ranch owner Myron Calley after feeding his cattle near Snyder, Texas on Aug. 12

Jae C. Hong  /  AP

Ranch owner Myron Calley loads empty bags in the back of his truck after feeding his cattle near Snyder, Texas on Aug. 12.

msnbc.com news services

LUBBOCK, Texas — The blistering drought in Texas has caused an estimated $5.2 billion in crop and livestock losses so far this agricultural season, a record figure likely to rise further, state officials said Wednesday.

  1. Field surveys from November 2010 to Aug. 1 this year indicate livestock losses of $2.1 billion and crop losses of $3.1 billion in Texas.

So here is question for you in drought conditions who has more water rights the Farmer or data center operator?  I would say the Farmer does.

If your issues are within state then you may have this view.

Under the prior appropriation doctrine, water rights are "first in time, first in right." That is, the older, or senior, water right may operate to the exclusion of junior water rights. The concept of "priority date" is significant. The priority date is generally associated with the date that water was first put to beneficial use, or the date that a successful application for a water right was submitted, and indicates the relative status of seniority among competing users. Older rights are senior. More recent rights are junior.

I think most people and a judge could understand beneficial use of water for crops and livestock.  Try explaining them water use for a data center cooling system.

And, it is quite possible you may have Interstate Water Conflicts.

Resolution of Interstate Water Conflicts

Because water bodies may cross political and jurisdictional boundaries, conflicts may arise. In the United States, three basic approaches are used to settle such conflicts: 1) Litigation before the Supreme Court of the United States; 2) Legislative resolution by the Congress of the United States; and 3) Negotiation and ratification of interstate compacts between states. [3] In the western United States, for example, the 1922 Colorado River Compact divides the Colorado River basin into two areas, the Upper Division (comprising Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) and the Lower Division (Nevada, Arizona and California). A comprehensive review of existing interstate water compacts has been published by the Model Interstate Water Compact Project at the University of New Mexico School of Law's Utton Transboundary Resource Center.[4]