paul wheaton wrote:
For a lot of properties, somebody else owns the water rights. Yesterday I learned that a lot of times this is because when the state was formed, somebody was there before the state and there was concern that the state was gonna take stuff away. So the water rights pre-date the state and the state is set up respecting those rights.
So I have two points to explore:
1) Somebody owns the rights. Therefore it seems possible that you can buy those rights back.
2) Assuming that the owner of the water rights is down stream, you would think that that person would favor any methods you might have of holding that water back in the winter and releasing it in the summer.
Also, western states have started grappling with the issue of ground water as well. I don't know whether any states have yet started demanding proof of ground water availability before allowing well drilling, but in some areas, folks who already have wells that they depend on are getting pretty worried about how many new wells are being drilled.