The Roman Empire’s Justinian Code laid the foundation for much of Riparian Rights, setting forth the idea that water is a public good and should not be diverted from its natural course (nor abused in any way).
Are you an owner of riparian land? Don’t know? A person who owns land adjacent to a body of water is considered to be a riparian owner. A Riparian Zone is the strip of land (usually 20 to 100 feet wide) that borders a body of water where vegetation is strongly influenced by the presence of water.
In Texas, farmers and ranchers control most of the state’s Riparian Zones. There are 15 rivers and 3,700 named streams meandering through 191,000 miles of the Lone Star State. Each of these waterways has Riparian Zones along both banks. That makes for 350 plus thousand miles of bank that need to be properly cared for in order to protect the wildlife and water quality of the rivers and streams. Many miles of Texas’ popular Riparian Zones are stripped bare of vegetation, the soil is compacted and the banks are decorated with all types of trash from swimmers, fisherman, tubers, and other recreational and commercial uses.
The Blanco River and the streams that feed it are not immune from these problems. Learn how to protect and manage Riparian Zones to keep Blanco’s waterways beautiful (Tuesday, January 24, at 6 p.m. at the library). A healthy riparian area is evidence of wise land management.