The Rule of capture, or the "English rule", is a legal doctrine derived from the common law that a landowner has a property right in all the water he can pump from beneath his land. Applied literally and liberally in an arid region, the rule of capture would have disastrous effects on water regulation. Texas, which has nominally adopted the rule of capture, nevertheless has provided by legislation for regulation of groundwater. Texas is the only Western, arid, state in the United States to have adopted the rule.

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