Riparian Rights

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Riparian Rights

The rights, which belong to landowners through whose property a natural watercourse runs, to the benefit of such stream for all purposes to which it can be applied.

Riparian water, as distinguished from flood water, is the water that is below the highest line of normal flow of the river or stream.

Cross-references

Water Rights.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

riparian rights

n. the right of the owner of the land forming the bank of a river or stream to use water from the waterway for use on the land, such as for drinking water or irrigation. State laws vary as to the extent of the rights, but controversy exists as to the extent of riparian rights for diversion of water to sell to others, for industrial purposes, to mine the land under the water for gravel or minerals, or for docks and marinas. Consistent in these questions is that a riparian owner may not act to deny riparian rights to the owner of downstream properties along the waterway, meaning the water may not be dammed and channelled away from its natural course.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Herminghaus sued to stop the power company's diversions and won in Fresno County Superior Court on the basis of riparian water rights. When Southern California Edison appealed to the California Supreme Court, the justices held that under state law as it then existed--and not withstanding other Progressive-era changes to water law--riparian landowners had a right to the full and undisturbed flow of adjacent watercourses.
Subdividing riparian land in such a manner that makes one or more of the newly created parcels nonriparian will cause those parcels to lose their riparian water rights unless those rights are retained in the title.
1979) (riparian water right that does not promote reasonable and beneficial use is not vested); Dunning, supra note 139, at 276; Gregory S.
Riparian water rights are enjoyed by those who own parcels of land next to bodies of water, such as streams or lakes.