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Unformatted text preview: Section 13 Outline Water Rights Water Use Systems Water Pricing Sources of Heterogeneity Water Rights Riparian rights The right to use/divert water is granted to land holders near the source (river). The amount of water you're allowed is based on how much land you have along the river. These rights are not transferable: while water can be divided up among the land holders on the river up and downstream, water cannot be transferred outside the watershed. Prior appropriation rights The right to use/divert water is granted to the rst person to establish bene cial use . These are senior rights holders. Folks that come later get what's left, as junior rights holders. Basically, it's rst-come, rst-serve; or in legal jargon: rst in time, rst in right . On top of that, the right is based on the level of consumption if water is not being used then you don't have the right to that which you weren't using before. In that way, the right is also use it or lose it . The right can be sold, although typically must be approved by other members within the same water district. Water districts The real entity when it comes to water allocation are water districts, which are a gov- ernmental agency set-up to govern water-use within a watershed or set of watersheds. Most trade in water occurs within water districts, as both the rights and the water are more easily transferred. Trading water between districts can be done, is predominantly restricted to districts along a major canal (in California there are two major canals running North-South through the central valley, the State Water Project and the (federal) Central Valley Project) and is usually quite contentious. Groundwater rights All the above rights refer to surface water (from rivers). A major, major factor when it comes to water allocation that is completely void in California's rights system are the rights and restrictions regarding groundwater usage. The right to groundwater is essentially granted to the holders of land above the aquifer from which it can be pumped. Nevada's surface water rights actually are contingent on groundwater take, California's are not and as a result there is ine cient allocation of water and excessive groundwater usage....
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This note was uploaded on 09/24/2011 for the course ECON C125 taught by Professor Zelberman during the Spring '09 term at University of California, Berkeley.
- Spring '09