In the late 1800’s, Utah pioneers ran ditches all over the valleys to spread water. These early irrigators were granted senior priority water rights, establishing the law of prior appropriation. This law continues to this day except its been undermined by developments that restrict the use and movement of the water. Administrative denial of applications, threat of forfeiture and political pressure from junior water right owners (dominated by Federal and quasi-State agencies) result in the loss of senior water rights throughout Utah. Most of these losses are not even known until it is too late to remedy the loss. Don’t let ignorance of the law result in loss of property rights.
Defend Your Water Rights
Why should this woman lose her right to water? She established her homestead and defended it for years. If she doesn’t use the water for several years, she is subject to forfeiture. Even without forfeiture, the State of Utah will deny her right to use her water in a different cabin. Unfortunately, she likely trusts the State to protect her interests. She doesn’t realize that junior water right owners, like Central Utah Water Conservancy District and the United State Bureau of Reclamation have control over the State of Utah water rights. When this woman tries to stand against these agencies – she gets trampled and her water right is denied change and/or lost to nonuse.