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===Finding Water Records===
 
===Finding Water Records===
 
In the eastern states of the United States, water records are part of the general land and property record and will be found in the same locations, usually county recorders offices, as any other land records. See [[United States Land and Property]] and the same topic in each of the individual states. As you move west across the United States, it is more and more likely that there are separate state, county and local agencies that record water rights including any transfers of those rights. To find such records, search for the name of the state and include the term "water rights."
 
In the eastern states of the United States, water records are part of the general land and property record and will be found in the same locations, usually county recorders offices, as any other land records. See [[United States Land and Property]] and the same topic in each of the individual states. As you move west across the United States, it is more and more likely that there are separate state, county and local agencies that record water rights including any transfers of those rights. To find such records, search for the name of the state and include the term "water rights."
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To learn more about water records in the various states and their repositories, click on a state below.
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{| width="503" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
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|-
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| valign="top" align="left" |
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*[[Image:Alabama flag.png|border|22x15px|Alabama flag.png]]  [[Alabama Water Records|Alabama]]
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*[[Image:Alaska flag.png|border|22x15px|Alaska flag.png]]  [[Alaska Water Records|Alaska]]
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*[[Image:Arizona flag.png|border|22x15px|Arizona flag.png]]  [[Arizona Water Records|Arizona]]
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*[[Image:Arkansas flag.png|border|22x15px|Arkansas flag.png]]  [[Arkansas Water Records|Arkansas]]
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*[[Image:California flag.png|border|22x15px|California flag.png]]  [[California Water Records|California]]
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*[[Image:Colorado flag.png|border|22x15px|Colorado flag.png]]  [[Colorado Water Records|Colorado]]
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*[[Image:Connecticut flag.png|border|22x13px|Connecticut flag.png]]  [[Connecticut Water Records|Connecticut]]
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*[[Image:Delaware flag.png|border|22x15px|Delaware flag.png]]  [[Delaware Water Records|Delaware]]
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*[[Image:District of Columbia flag.png|border|22x11px|District of Columbia flag.png]]  [[District of Columbia Water Records|District of Columbia]]
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*[[Image:Florida flag.png|border|22x15px|Florida flag.png]]  [[Florida Water Records|Florida]]
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*[[Image:Georgia flag.png|border|22x14px|Georgia flag.png]]  [[Georgia Water Records|Georgia]]
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*[[Image:Hawaii flag.png|border|22x11px|Hawaii flag.png]]  [[Hawaii Water Records|Hawaii]]
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*[[Image:Idaho flag.png|border|22x18px|Idaho flag.png]]  [[Idaho Water Records|Idaho]]
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*[[Image:Illinois flag.png|border|22x13px|Illinois flag.png]]  [[Illinois Water Records|Illinois]]
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*[[Image:Indiana flag.png|border|22x15px|Indiana flag.png]]  [[Indiana Water Records|Indiana]]
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*[[Image:Iowa flag.png|border|22x15px|Iowa flag.png]]  [[Iowa Water Records|Iowa]]
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*[[Image:Kansas flag.png|border|22x13px|Kansas flag.png]]  [[Kansas Water Records|Kansas]]
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| valign="top" align="left" |
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*[[Image:Kentucky flag.png|border|22x15px|Kentucky flag.png]]  [[Kentucky Water Records|Kentucky]]
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*[[Image:Louisiana flag.png|border|22x15px|Louisiana flag.png]]  [[Louisiana Water Records|Louisiana]]
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*[[Image:Maine flag.png|border|22x15px|Maine flag.png]]  [[Maine Water Records|Maine]]
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*[[Image:Maryland flag.png|border|22x15px|Maryland flag.png]]  [[Maryland Water Records|Maryland]]
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*[[Image:Massachusetts flag.png|border|22x13px|Massachusetts flag.png]]  [[Massachusetts Water Records|Massachusetts]]
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*[[Image:Michigan flag.png|border|22x15px|Michigan flag.png]]  [[Michigan Water Records|Michigan]]
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*[[Image:Minnesota flag.png|border|22x14px|Minnesota flag.png]]  [[Minnesota Water Records|Minnesota]]
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*[[Image:Mississippi flag.png|border|22x13px|Mississippi flag.png]]  [[Mississippi Water Records|Mississippi]]
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*[[Image:Missouri flag.png|border|22x13px|Missouri flag.png]]  [[Missouri Water Records|Missouri]]
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*[[Image:Montana flag.png|border|22x15px|Montana flag.png]]  [[Montana Water Records|Montana]]
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*[[Image:Nebraska flag.png|border|22x13px|Nebraska flag.png]]  [[Nebraska Water Records|Nebraska]]
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*[[Image:Nevada flag.png|border|22x15px|Nevada flag.png]]  [[Nevada Water Records|Nevada]]
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*[[Image:New Hampshire flag.png|border|22x15px|New Hampshire flag.png]]  [[New Hampshire Water Records|New Hampshire]]
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*[[Image:New Jersey flag.png|border|22x15px|New Jersey flag.png]]  [[New Jersey Water Records|New Jersey]]
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*[[Image:New Mexico flag.png|border|22x15px|New Mexico flag.png]]  [[New Mexico Water Records|New Mexico]]
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*[[Image:New York flag.png|border|22x11px|New York flag.png]]  [[New York Water Records|New York]]
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*[[Image:North Carolina flag.png|border|22x15px|North Carolina flag.png]]  [[North Carolina Water Records|North Carolina]]
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| valign="top" align="left" |
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*[[Image:North Dakota flag.png|border|22x17px|North Dakota flag.png]]  [[North Dakota Water Records|North Dakota]]
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*[[Image:Ohio flag.png|border|22x14px|Ohio flag.png]]  [[Ohio Water Records|Ohio]]
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*[[Image:Oklahoma flag.png|border|22x15px|Oklahoma flag.png]]  [[Oklahoma Water Records|Oklahoma]]
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*[[Image:Oregon flag.png|border|22x13px|Oregon flag.png]]  [[Oregon Water Records|Oregon]]
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*[[Image:Pennsylvania flag.png|border|22x15px|Pennsylvania flag.png]]  [[Pennsylvania Water Records|Pennsylvania]]
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*[[Image:Rhode Island flag.png|border|21x20px|Rhode Island flag.png]]  [[Rhode Island Water Records|Rhode Island]]
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*[[Image:South Carolina flag.png|border|22x15px|South Carolina flag.png]]  [[South Carolina Water Records|South Carolina]]
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*[[Image:South Dakota flag.png|border|22x13px|South Dakota flag.png]]  [[South Dakota Water Records|South Dakota]]
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*[[Image:Tennessee flag.png|border|22x13px|Tennessee flag.png]]  [[Tennessee Water Records|Tennessee]]
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*[[Image:Texas flag.png|border|22x15px|Texas flag.png]]  [[Texas Water Records|Texas]]
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*[[Image:Utah flag.png|border|22x15px|Utah flag.png]]  [[Utah Water Records|Utah]]
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*[[Image:Vermont flag.png|border|22x13px|Vermont flag.png]]  [[Vermont Water Records|Vermont]]
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*[[Image:Virginia flag.png|border|22x15px|Virginia flag.png]]  [[Virginia Water Records|Virginia]]
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*[[Image:Washington flag.png|border|22x13px|Washington flag.png]]  [[Washington Water Records|Washington]]
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*[[Image:West Virginia flag.png|border|22x12px|West Virginia flag.png]]  [[West Virginia Water Records|West Virginia]]
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*[[Image:Wisconsin flag.png|border|22x15px|Wisconsin flag.png]]  [[Wisconsin Water Records|Wisconsin]]
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*[[Image:Wyoming flag.png|border|22x15px|Wyoming flag.png]]  [[Wyoming Water Records|Wyoming]]
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|}
  
 
=== See also  ===
 
=== See also  ===

Latest revision as of 23:36, 19 April 2014

United States Gotoarrow.png Water Records

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Water right
Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Water law
Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Water law in the United States



Contents

Introduction

From the very earliest European settlement of the North American Continent, water rights and ownership have been an ongoing issue. Ownership of real property did not always automatically confer rights to water either adjacent to or flowing through the property. Water law dates back into Roman times and even further into antiquity. Present court litigation over water rights in the Western United States, often involves extensive investigations into the oldest verifiable uses of the water. In all of this, the investigation of water rights and research into ownership can be a productive way to provide genealogical information. Where allowed by law primarily in the West, water rights could be bought and sold just as any other property right. In addition, water rights could be inherited.

In most geographic areas, water rights were registered through a system of water shares or deeds. In the East, these rights were included with the sale of real property, in the Western United States, they could be transferred separately from real estate transfers and the transfers are controlled by some specially created commission or agency.

History

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Riparian water rights
Even in the ancient Roman Empire, property owners who were adjacent to water were acknowledged to have an interest called a riparian water right. This principle influenced water rights in most of the European countries. These riparian rights were appurtenant to the property, this means that they could not be sold or transferred separate from the property. There is a distinction made between navigable and non-navigable waterways. The system of riparian rights was adopted by most of the Eastern states but in the Western states another system of allocating water rights developed called the right of prior appropriation or in other words, first in time, first in right.
Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Prior-appropriation water rights

These two different methods of allocating water rights have now co-existed in America throughout the entire history of its occupation by European and other ethnic groups.

Importance of Water Records

Particularly in the western part of the United States, water rights were transferable in the same way any other property rights were transferred; by deed, by lease or testamentary distribution. Since water records were maintained separately from other land title records, they may provide information not contained in the land and property records. You may not be aware at all that your ancestors had or owned water rights until you begin looking for documents with reference to those rights.

In most of the western part of the United States, water rights were often the subject of bitter controversy and extensive litigation. Some of the water rights litigation has continued for decades and the reports of the cases have created their own archives. For an idea of the length of time involved and the complexity of these extensive litigations, see Feller, Joseph M., The Adjudication that ate Arizona Water Law, Volume 49 Number 2 of the Arizona Law Review.

There are several other huge law cases involving hundreds of litigants and likely millions of pages of transcripts, pleadings and exhibits that contain a huge amount of information about the history of the State of Arizona and all of the adjoining states and those states along the Colorado River waterway.

Finding Water Records

In the eastern states of the United States, water records are part of the general land and property record and will be found in the same locations, usually county recorders offices, as any other land records. See United States Land and Property and the same topic in each of the individual states. As you move west across the United States, it is more and more likely that there are separate state, county and local agencies that record water rights including any transfers of those rights. To find such records, search for the name of the state and include the term "water rights."

To learn more about water records in the various states and their repositories, click on a state below.

See also

Major legal cases in American water law

References




 

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  • This page was last modified on 19 April 2014, at 23:36.
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