Meaning of RIPARIAN RIGHT in English


doctrine in certain areas that governs the use of surface water and gives all owners of land contiguous to streams, lakes, and ponds equal rights to the water, whether the right is exercised or not. Riparian rights are a form of real property and are inherited with the land. The landowner does not own the water itself but rather the right to use it on his riparian land. Some nations regard the water as state property, but in the United States two distinct legal doctrines have evolved regarding such rights. In one, the natural-flow theory, a riparian owner has the right to a water flow of undiminished quantity and unimpaired quality, or as it was in nature; this doctrine prevents most water use. In the other, that of reasonable use, the riparian owner is allowed to use water on riparian land in a reasonable manner and in such a quantity that does not cause suffering to downstream riparian owners. The courts are not in agreement on many aspects of water law, and the laws vary from state to state.

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