Owners must file to prove Nevada water rights

The Nevada Division of Water Resources has issued notice owners of historic water rights in Nevada must file proof of their appropriation.

SB270 was approved by the 2017 Nevada Legislature to require Nevadans with pre-statutory vested water rights submit proof of their right to use the water.

The law gives those property owners until the end of December 2027 to submit the proof. But those who fail to file the necessary documents will lose those water rights as they will be considered abandoned.

Pre-statutory water rights are those vested before the law requiring a permit from the state engineer to use the water. For surface waters, that means rights owned before March 1, 1905. For those with artesian groundwater, the date is March 22, 1913 and for those with percolating groundwater, before March 25, 1939.

“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, whether through the permitting process or through the adjudication of pre-statutory vested rights,” said State Engineer Jason King.

He said his office must match water use with water availability, “so that our shared water resource is sustainable now and into the future.”

Holders of pre-statutory water rights can get the form for filing their proof on line at http://water.nv.gov or by contacting the Division of Water Resources at 775-684-2800.s


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