ND Water Law


Acquiring Water Rights

The following pages focus on legal issues that may arise as persons attempt to secure the legal right to use water.
Questions to address
This page suggests some of the legal issues that arise when allocating water among users. The discussion does not identify all the relevant legal questions, nor does it answer the questions. It is only an introduction intended to illustrate the range of issues.
Some science about water
The laws of nature control the movement of water. This page reviews several basic facts about the nature of water.
Legal Doctrines
This page introduces riparian doctrine, prior appropriation doctrine, California doctrine, and allocation of groundwater.
Eastern Water Law
Western Water Law
These pages consider the variety of legal issues embedded in Prior Appropriation doctrine.
Interstate Water Issues
Water flows from location to location, and it crosses state boundaries. Thus a question that needs to be considered is how do we allocate water among various users located in neighboring states, especially since water law is primarily under state jurisdiction.
Federal Reserved & Tribal Water Rights
Federal law influences water resources in numerous ways, even though water law is primarily state law. In this portion of the course, we will look at several ways in which federal government impacts water use.

Email:  david.saxowsky@ndsu.edu

This material is intended for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for competent legal counsel. Seek appropriate professional advice for answers to your specific questions.

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