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Water Laws and the Role of Water Law Attorneys
It goes without saying that plants, animals, and humans need water for survival. However, people need water for other uses other than drinking and cooking. Water is essential in many industrial processes, for domestic use, construction, and farming. What many people do not know is that owning a piece of land does not give one automatic right to the adjacent water bodies. Every jurisdiction has got its own laws on how individuals and corporations can access and use the water resources adjacent to their property. These laws are put in place for various reasons including the water resource which is in most cases scares. This article will deliberate on the subject of water laws and the role of water law attorneys.
There are very many laws that govern water resources. These include riparian doctrine, natural flow doctrine, prior appropriation, absolute ownership, correlative doctrine, and reasonable use doctrine. It is only an advocate who has specialized in water law that is in a position to understand and correctly interpret the numerous water law doctrines. Further, different states have unique water needs and equally distinctive laws that govern their water resources.
In the United States of America, the Eastern region has got more water resources and consistent rain compared to the Western side. The West is characterized by low rainfall and little or no snow during winter. This is an indication that this region has scared water resources. It, therefore, goes without saying that the municipalities in the Western regions and the laws that govern water resources in this region are strict. The laws are more stringent in areas that experience drought. Commercial and domestic use of water in the Western region is restricted and closely monitored.
When making a decision on where to locate a business or buy a piece of land, it is important for an investor to familiarize themselves with the jurisdiction’s water laws. Many investors prefer areas away from the cities because they believe they can drill a well and save on water overheads in their recreational golf courses or farm investments. Jurisdictions that experience drought, desert, and semi-desert areas have more stringent laws on commercial water users. These laws are aimed at regulating the quantity of water used so that a few firms are not allowed to tie down the water supply of the area.
Water law advocates come in handy when assisting their clients to apply for water rights. Further, they help their clients to maintain sound water rights inventories and evaluations. If an individual or firm has been denied the right to use or change restrictions on the utilization of the water resource, the advocates can file applications with the relevant water law governing agencies or the court to push for better terms. If a client is of the opinion that they are being overcharged or wish to dispute rate increases, they can equally a motion with the relevant water law authorities to have their rates revised downwards.