Water Rights

Water Rights
Water rights are one of the interests that may attach to real estate ownership, and pertain to the rights to use adjacent bodies of water. Riparian rights are awarded to land owners whose property is located along a river, stream or lake. Typically, landowners have the right to use the water as long as such use does not harm upstream or downstream neighbors. In the event the water is a non-navigable waterway, the landowner generally owns the land beneath the water to the exact center of the waterway.

Littoral rights pertain to landowners whose land border large, navigable lakes and oceans. Landowners with littoral rights have unrestricted access to the waters but own the land only to the median high-water mark.

After this point, the land is owned by the government. Water rights are appurtenant, meaning they are attached to the land and not to the owner. In other words, if a ocean front property is sold, the new owner gains the littoral rights; the seller relinquishes his or her rights.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • water rights — A group of rights designed to protect the use and enjoyment of water that travels in streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds, gathers on the surface of the earth, or collects underground. Dictionary from West s Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005. water …   Law dictionary

  • water rights — rights to use or possess water …   English contemporary dictionary

  • water rights — /ˈwɔtə raɪtz/ (say wawtuh ruytz) plural noun 1. the right to control an area of water, especially the rights of the original inhabitants of a country to such control over a stretch of water where they have traditionally fished. 2. the right to… …   Australian-English dictionary

  • Prior-appropriation water rights — Property law Part of …   Wikipedia

  • Prior appropriation water rights — Prior appropriation water rights, sometimes known as the Colorado Doctrine in reference to the U.S. Supreme Court case Wyoming v. Colorado, is a system of allocating water rights from a water source that is markedly different from Riparian water… …   Wikipedia

  • Riparian water rights — (or simply riparian rights) is a system of allocating water among those who possess land about its source. It has its origins in English common law. Riparian rights exist in many countries with a common law heritage, such as Canada, Australia,… …   Wikipedia

  • Re Upper Churchill Water Rights Reversion Act — SCCInfoBox case name=Re Upper Churchill Water Rights Reversion Act full case name=Reference Re Upper Churchill Water Rights Reversion Act heard date=September 28 October 1, 1982 decided date=May 3, 1984 citations= [1984] 1 S.C.R. 297… …   Wikipedia

  • Permanent water rights (Alberta) — Permanent water rights, within the Canadian province of Alberta, are rights acquired from the crown that give the holder rights to use a body of water for a specified purpose and for an indefinite time …   Wikipedia

  • vested water rights — See accrued water rights …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • accrued water rights — Rights in waters which have vested prior to the adoption of enactment of a constitutional or statutory provision affecting the right of appropriation. 56 Am J1st Wat § 295 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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