Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Ron Stoneberg
Hinsdale, Mont 

FEDERAL GRAZING DISTRICT WATER RIGHTS

 

November 18, 2020



The Congressional Desert Land Act of 1877 severed the non-navigable surface water and the ground water from the western federal lands and gave them to the states. This resulted in a split estate of the western public lands. The Act of 1890 declared all lands west of the 100th meridian were under the "Prior Appropriation Doctrine" as it applied to water rights. It contained three main components: A. First in time, first in right, B. The user of the water and not the owner of the land gets the water right, and C. The water must be diverted and put to a beneficial use. Early legislation a...



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