Water holds immeasurable value to our families, communities, businesses, and economies. Understanding this, Jason Hill devotes his practice to guiding clients through the complexities of water law in all aspects of business transactions, land and water rights protection, water supply planning, and water quality protection. With an unwavering commitment to the needs of water rights owners and those needing water supplies—including landowners, manufacturers, and water suppliers—Jason stands as a steadfast advocate in the pursuit of secure water access and sustainable growth.
Raised on an irrigated cotton and milo farm in the heart of the Texas High Plains, Jason’s deep-rooted connection to the land and the significance of water security was instilled in him from an early age. His journey led him to serve as an agricultural and natural resources policy advisor in the Texas Senate, where he contributed to pivotal water policy-making that laid the foundation for Texas’ current water rights framework. Jason’s tenure in the law-making world motivated him to pursue his legal education at Baylor Law School, embarking on a lifelong career dedicated to this vital area of the law.
Jason has dedicated his legal practice to helping landowners, businesses, and entire communities secure water resources necessary for their prosperity, protecting their property, and maximizing the value of their substantial land, infrastructure, and water assets. Through his work, Jason offers comprehensive legal counsel in a broad range of areas, including water and land rights counseling, regulatory guidance, negotiation and drafting of water supply agreements, and securing and defending surface water and groundwater rights and water discharge permits. He leverages his extensive experience to guide clients through contract negotiation, property transactions, administrative hearings, litigation, and appeals. Moreover, Jason excels in policy development and analysis, closely monitoring emerging policy issues, actively participating in industry group initiatives, and providing legislative assistance and support to lobby and legislative efforts. Through these efforts, Jason proactively protects his clients’ interests.
Water law is intricate, complex, and dynamic. The related administrative processes can be tedious, onerous, and confusing. Faced with the need to navigate and comply with these laws and processes, landowners, communities, and business owners are at risk of being frustrated and overwhelmed. Jason’s clients turn to him for his expertise in demystifying and navigating the legal intricacies of Texas water law. Whether assisting developers, municipalities, or special-purpose districts, he brings a meticulous approach to safeguarding his clients’ interests at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the State Office of Administrative Hearings. When disputes move into the courtroom, he represents clients in complex environmental, contract, and property litigation. When the fight doesn’t end after a trial, he keeps it up through the appeals process.
When his clients face the daunting task of strategic planning for water resources and security, they trust Jason to be their partner, standing by their side every step of the way. Jason believes that providing good legal service means being more than a lawyer and courtroom advocate for his clients. It means earning their trust as an advisor and counselor. To him it means taking the complex, often esoteric nature of water and environmental law, and translating it into a relatable, accessible language. He works to do much more than just telling his clients what the law says. He instead applies the law to help them stand firm, protect their resources, and solve their problems while holding their heads high.
In his spare time, Jason likes to cheer on the Red Raiders (always an emotional experience) and enjoy the great outdoors, particularly hiking and fly fishing in the Rockies. All activities are best enjoyed with his fantastic family.
Water and land rights counseling
- Regulatory guidance: Guide individuals, businesses, and governmental bodies through the minefields of agency environmental regulation and compliance.
- Surface water and groundwater rights, transactions, permitting, and protection: Negotiate and draft water supply, sales, and production agreements. Secure and defend surface water and groundwater rights permits.
- Land and subsurface protection: Protect water-related property rights through surface and subsurface protection agreements and access easements.
- Administrative hearings, litigation, and appeals: Defend permit applications in agency and groundwater district contested case hearings. Serve as trial and appellate counsel at district and appellate courts.
Public policy guidance
- Policy development and analysis: Guide clients through formal and informal water, land, and other environmental policy development efforts. Participate in industry group policy and legislative efforts.
- Legislative assistance and support for lobbying efforts: Serve as an expert resource to lawmakers and legislative committees. Assist client lobby teams with subject matter expertise and legislative strategy development.
Environmental Issues Counseling
- Environmental transactions: Counsel landowners and business owners on environmental issues during all stages of the transactional life cycle.
- Wastewater discharge and disposal permitting: Help developers, municipalities, and special purpose districts secure wastewater discharge and land application permits.
- Provided invited testimony on water rights permitting reforms to Texas Senate Committee on Natural Resources.
- Negotiated and drafted groundwater rights lease for Bexar County water supply project.
- Drafted and assisted lobbying efforts supporting passage of proposed legislation to reform water rights contested case hearing process and procedures.
- Assisted city with development of long-term, comprehensive groundwater supply strategy.
- Represented coalition of water suppliers in their successful efforts to defeat creation of a watermaster in the Upper Brazos River basin.
- Drafted and assisted lobbying efforts supporting passage of major groundwater permitting legislation.
- Organized and led a team of attorneys, real estate professionals, and technical experts in a $30 million land and groundwater rights purchase.
- Provided special water rights counsel in lawsuit involving land and groundwater rights disputes.
- Negotiated and drafted 40-year, $250 million groundwater supply agreement.
- Obtained major reservoir water rights permit in contested case hearings at the State Office of Administrative Hearings and successfully defended approval in appeal to Travis County District Court, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court of Texas.
- Obtained major water rights reuse permit and successfully defended approval in appeal to Travis County District Court, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court of Texas.
- Served as appellate counsel on claims involving water rights purchase and sale agreement.
- Served as groundwater rights counsel on major wellfield permitting effort.
- Supported lobbying efforts to adopt interregional conflicts reform for State Water Plan development.
- Defeated attempt using bond validation suit to restrain city’s ability to regulate wastewater discharges within its political boundaries.
- Served as hearing and appellate counsel on challenge to TPDES permitting of new wastewater treatment plant project.
- Led permitting team in effort to secure water rights for golf course project.
- Led permitting team on major water reuse project.
- Provided counsel on water rights chain-of-title review for major recreational property acquisition.
- Obtained major amendment to reservoir water rights permit and successfully defended approval in appeal to Travis County District Court, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court of Texas.
- Drafted and negotiated multiple groundwater pipeline easements.
Presentations and Publications
- Water Rights Continuing Education
Co-organized for Farm and Ranch Real Estate Brokers
- Ag Law in the Field Podcast with Tiffany Lashmet
Episode # 152 Water Law FAQs Part 2
- Groundwater & Surface Water Permit Considerations in Agriculture & Ranching
22nd Annual State Bar of Texas Changing Face of Water Law (2021)
- Ag Law in the Field Podcast with Tiffany Lashmet
Episode # 66 Texas Surface Water Law FAQs (2019)
- Decoding Water Law: Ten Areas of Texas Water Law Every Ag Lawyer Should Know
Published in Texas A&M Journal of Property Law, Volume 5 (2019)
- Different Stories of a Common Resource: Surface Water and Groundwater in Texas Law
The Water Report (2019)
- Surface Water Transfers–Procedures and Issues
8th Annual Lone Star Water Forum (2019)
- Interface Between Groundwater and Surface Water in the Rio Grande Basin–Colorado to Texas: Differences in State Approaches and Why
19th Annual Law of the Rio Grande Conference (2019)
- Purchasing Property for Groundwater Supply Development
Texas City Attorneys Association Summer Conference (2018)
- Surface and Groundwater Regulation
10th Annual State Bar of Texas John Huffaker Agricultural Law Course (2016)
- Water Rights and Reuse
Texas Tech University School of Law Water Symposium (2014)
- Permitting Exemptions and Exclusions Affecting Surface Water and Groundwater Rights in Texas
13th Annual State Bar of Texas Changing Face of Water Rights
- A Piece to a Different Puzzle: the Junior Priority Provision and its Place in the Texas Water Law Picture
Texas Environmental Law Journal (2003)
In the News
- theCity: San Angelo Concho River Project (2019) (Online and YouTube)
- Texas Tribune: Reservoirs Make Comeback in Parched Texas by Elena Schneider March 4, 2013
- Texas Tribune: Texas Water Plan Being Questioned by Court by Kate Galbraith May 29, 2013
- Law360: Texas Water Wars Push State Toward Greater Oversight By Jess Davis April 10, 2014
- Law 360: Texas Drought Drives Uptick In Water Rights Disputes By Jess Davis December 09, 2013
- Law360: Water Conservation Group Can’t Ax Texas Town’s Permit By Jess Davis December 04, 2013
- New York Times: West’s Drought and Growth Intensify Conflict Over Water Rights
By Michael Wines March 16, 2014
- National Driller Magazine: What Water Ethics, Licensing Means for Drillers By Alexis Brumm March 1, 2014
- San Angelo Standard-Times: City seeks to buy ranch overlying Hickory Aquifer lease By Michael Kelly November 7, 2016
Best Lawyers by BL Rankings
- Water Law (2015-2024)
Super Lawyers by Thompson Reuters
- Rising Stars (2010-2011)
Texas Water Conservation Association: President’s Award (2011)
- J.D., Baylor Law School (2004)
- Order of Barristers
- B.A., Public Relations, Texas Tech University (1997)
Licenses and Certifications
- Supreme Court of Texas
- Admitted to U.S. District Courts for the Western, Northern, and Southern Districts of Texas