Water rights must be proved up by 2027
With the passage of Senate Bill 270 in the 2017 Legislature, the Nevada Division of Water Resources must require claimants of a pre-statutory vested water right to submit proof of their appropriation, which is the right to use the water, to the State Engineer on or before Dec. 31, 2027. If a claimant fails to submit the required proof by that deadline, the law deems the water right claim as abandoned.
Pre-statutory vested water rights are those that predate the law requiring a permit from the State Engineer 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.
“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 water officials 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. That is why it is so important for everyone to officially file their valid claims of pre-statutory water use. With that knowledge, and by using the best available technology to measure annual water recharge and monitor the health of our aquifers, we are able to make smart, more-informed decisions to best manage our water.”
The form for filing proof of a water right may be obtained at http://water.nv.gov or by contacting the Nevada Division of Water Resources at 775-684-2800.