Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Difference Between a Water Right and a Water Share

There is a lot of confusion between the definition of a Water Right and a Water Share. For some reason the term Water Share seems to be used in real estate transactions regarding homes from a private well and water rights. In most private owned wells this is not the case. Below are the definitions of Water Right and Water Share from the Utah Division of Water Rights.

the right to use water diverted at a specific location on a water source, and putting it to recognized beneficial uses at set locations.
stock in a mutual irrigation company. Many irrigation companies exist in Utah which own water rights used by their share holders. The amount of water the company allows each share holder to divert is usually determined by the company stock shares owned or rented. Shares in an irrigation company are not water rights. The company collectively owns the water right(s), the benefits from which are distributed to the share holders. This is evidence of the holder's right to a portion of the water delivered by the company.
In short, if you are buying a home with a private well, it should have a Water Right. If you are buying a home with a secondary irrigation system (canal or pressurized irrigation) or a home that is set up on a private water system you will likely need a share(s) to go with it. It is of coarse much more complex than this, if you have any questions feel free to email me or call.

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