Population growth and several droughts in the late 1990s and early 2000s led to more concern over Texas's water supply. Debate over the issue typically finds landowners on one side, environmentalists on the other. Environmental groups support restrictions on water pumping and water use, because droughts proved the risk of a low water supply, and because of the risk it poses for animal species. Landowners argue that pumping limitations could damage the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers.
Much debate also surrounds the underground Edwards Aquifer, the only source of water for the San Antonio area. A legal battle that started in 1991 resulted in a ruling in favor of environmental group the Sierra Club, which warned against overpumping, because of its threat on endangered species and a contamination threat to the aquifer.
In 1993, the Texas Legislature created a regional Edwards Aquifer Authority to regulate pumping from the aquifer and protect the reservoir from pollution. The law was upheld by the Texas Supreme Court in 1996. Landowners objected to the decision.