Starley, Richard 1983-04-14

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Judge Richard Starley discusses the settlement of water rights in the Pecos River drainage area.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Richard Starley

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: April 14, 1983

Location: Pecos, Texas

Interviewer: Richard Mason

Length: 2 hours 15 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Judge Starley, Father, Education, Settlement in Barstow, Texas, State irrigation legislation, Subdivision for taxation, Water Improvement Act (c. 1932), Ward County Water Improvement District No. 1, Red Bluff Water Power Control District (c. 1932), Reluctance to form district, Red Bluff reservoir, Early attempts to organize Red Bluff, Organization of Pecos County districts, Prior conflicts relative to appropriation, Red Bluff Water Power Control Act, Red Bluff Reservoir (again), Bond issue, Construction, Controversy, Water diversion, Mexico, New Mexico, Dam closure (c. 1936), Filling of reservoir.

Tape 1, Side 2: Filling of reservoir (continued), Modifications of Red Bluff Water Power Control Act, Second filling of reservoir, Texas-New Mexico agreement, History of water rights in Western United States, Kansas vs. Missouri, Proposed compact, Problems, Supreme Court case, Effect, Starley’s father forecasted water problems, Conflict: East vs. West Texans, Political power, Riparian vs. appropriation, Texas tradition of land scheme (1889-1895), Legislation of Texas water law.

Tape 2, Side 1: Legislation (continued), Speculative interest, Statewide adjudication, Riparian vs. appropriation (again), Development of appropriation laws, Wells vs. H. G. N. Railway Company, Ruling, Effect on Pecos County irrigation, Resulting litigation, Attempts to regulate extraction of underground water, (Background noise drowns out interview for approximately six minutes), Attempts to regulate (continued), Hydrology of Pecos drainage area.

Tape 2, Side 2: Hydrology of Pecos drainage (continued), Lower Rio Grande Valley case (again), Decision to take the case, Background to the case, Pre-trial session, Trial, Testimony, Arguments, Decision, Appointment of new Water Master, Appeal, Interim problems, Decision, Central issue of case, Amendment to Texas Constitution (Section 59, Article 16), Cameron County water law.

Tape 3, Side 1: Cameron County water law (continued), Background, Court decision, Mechanics of irrigation rights.

Tape 3, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1889-1983

Bulk Dates: 1932-1983

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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