All existing rights to the use of any water in this state for any useful or beneficial purpose are hereby recognized and confirmed. This article addresses one of the most contentious areas of law in and among western states. The term “water” in this article includes and indicates waters of underground streams, channels, artesian basins, reservoirs, and lakes the boundaries of which may be reasonably ascertained (State ex rel Reynolds v. Mears, 1974; and McBee v. Reynolds, 1965). Rights to water for irrigation established prior to enactment of the water code...
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