While the science of today is far ahead of the old water witches armed with forked twigs or brass rods, much remains unknown. Global climate scientists continue to raise questions that put old models and studies in question. Future demographic shifts and increased demand for food will strain existing allocations and systems. The unintended consequences of surface water use, and diversion has created devastating results in some areas already. Today pumping of ground water in some areas of the United States has lowered water tables hundreds of miles away. Recharge rates based in time may be measured in thousands of years. Looking forward one thing is certain, the demand for water will only increase.
Nevada's Water Rights law is based on statutes enacted in 1903 and 1905 and are founded on the principal of Prior Appropriation. Unlike some other states, Nevada has a statewide system for the administration of both ground water and surface water. Appropriative water rights are based on the concept of applying water to Beneficial Use and "First in Time, First in Right." Appropriative water rights can be lost through nonuse and they may be sold or transferred apart from the land. Due in large part to the relative scarcity of water in Nevada and numerous competing uses, Nevada has had a thriving market for water rights transfers for a number of years.
Once granted, water rights in Nevada have the standing of both personal and real property, meaning they are conveyed as an appurtenance to real property unless they are specifically excluded in the deed of conveyance. It is possible to change the water's point of diversion, manner of use and place of use by filing the appropriate application with the state engineer.
“It would require a permit from the federal government to essentially do anything with my land,” said Jim Chilton Jr. of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association, who owns a 50,000-acre ranch near the Mexican border. “Bottom line: It will control any drop of water in every backyard, every puddle.”
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Contact Chris W. Miller to discuss purchasing Nevada land or Listing your Farm or Ranch. 435-862-5951 or firstname.lastname@example.org