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STATE TRUST AND RAILROAD LANDS

WaterBank® was recently contacted by the State Trustee for State Ferguson Act lands in a Western State.  These lands comprise Section 16 and 32 of each Township and Range in the American West that was subject to Federal Land Surveys.  They are commonly called "School Sections."  Income from these lands is used to support education.  State Trustees are familiar with the leasing of these lands for oil and gas and grazing but are unfamiliar with the leasing of these lands for water.

In the western states, small communities, oil and gas operators, industry, farmers and ranchers and others commonly seek to obtain water from school sections and the states do not know how to value the water.  Public policy may be that water is free and should be made available to the communities at no cost.   However, the trustees of these lands are obligated to charge for use of the school section resources to support education.  This constraint on public policy exists in all of the western states of the United States.  The lands were assigned to the states by federal law and state legislatures cannot enact legislation that contravenes the purpose of the Ferguson Act by by waiving the collection of fees for the use of the resources of these lands.   Presently, trustees may not be collecting fees for the use of trust fund lands; but, they must.

WaterBank® is prepared to lease the water, explore for the water and drill wells on state trust lands and to sell the water to communities and other users while paying the states a royalty for the water.

For more information on this program, contact us.

Visits since May 27, 2004

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