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Proof of ownership for water rights required for Nevadans by 2027

Updated August 25, 2017 - 2:14 pm

CARSON CITY — With the passage of Senate Bill 270 in the 2017 legislative session, the state Division of Water Resources must get proof of ownership from Nevadans with water rights that predate state statutes.

Failure to submit the required proof will result in the vested water rights being deemed abandoned. But there is plenty of time. A decade, to be exact.

Proof must be submitted to the State Engineer by Dec. 31., 2027.

“In order to effectively manage water in Nevada, the driest state in the nation, it is critical we know exactly how much water is committed to and being used — either through the permitting process or through the adjudication of pre-statutory vested rights,” State Engineer Jason King said. “To appropriately manage Nevada’s precious water resources, we must accurately match water usage with estimated water availability so that our shared water resource is sustainable now and into the future.”

By filing their valid claims of pre-statutory water use, and by using the best available technology to measure annual water recharge and monitor the health of the state’s aquifers, the agency will be able to make good decisions on how to manage water, he said.

Pre-statutory vested water rights are those that predate the law requiring a permit from the state for the use of water. The relevant dates are: prior to March 1, 1905, for surface water; prior to March 22, 1913, for artesian groundwater; and prior to March 25, 1939, for percolating groundwater.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.

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