canal water usage

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by campergirl, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. campergirl

    campergirl Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Location:
    seattle
    does anyone know if you have to have irrigation rights to harvest a small amount of water from the canal in moses lake wa? Lets say 100 gals per summer

    thanks

    I didn't mean that I would take it w/o permission. I was wandering if I had to do the whole irrigation rights thing . I am willing to pay for the water I use. Thanks
     
  2. bare

    bare Head Muderator

    Messages:
    1,857
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Ever heard of a water master? Those guys are MEEEAN. Undoubtedly your canal is owned by some entity and they divy out the water rights. Canal owners/users can be a snarky bunch and will be mighty unhappy if you were to take as little as 100 gallons from them. In fact, they'll likely consider it stealing, which it is.

    100 gallons of water is nothing, they lose much more to evaporation and leakage into the soil, but I imagine that their thought on the matter might be if they let one person take 100 gallons, their neighbor is going to take 10,000 gallons.

    Out of curiosity, what would you do with 100 gallons, my chickens go through more that that in a summer?
     

  3. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    You have to own rights to any water in most western states in order to use it. In Colorado you are required by law to purchase any water that runs off your own roof if you wish to use it for anything. The runoff has been calculated by the state and has already been sold to someone downstream! I would not dare take water from any canal without written permission of the owner.
     
  4. campergirl

    campergirl Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Location:
    seattle
    I would like to plant some shade trees. I used a drip system from barrels and use a drip hose to supply the wate. It usually lasts for 5 days, enough time for me to get back there and refill the barrels.
     
  5. Bob_W_in_NM

    Bob_W_in_NM Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    199
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2003
    Location:
    New Mexico
    I'd be willing to bet money that others already own all the "rights" to that canal water. You might be able to buy or lease some water right from a present owner, but it's doubtful.

    In New Mexico, believe it or not, people have acquired water rights by putting somebody else's water rights to use (albeit illegally) for a long period of time.
    Kind of like "squatter's rights" in relation to water. This is one reason why illicit use of the waters is policed very vigorously.

    My guess is that you'll have to be content to watch the water flow by.

    In my little town, we have an "acequia" system in the old part of town. Quite a few of the land parcels have had the ditch rights "sold away" in the past.
    The present property owner in this case just has to watch the water go by.
    One thing though, the ditches are unlined, so even those without water rights
    have a yard full of big trees!

    The Water Master in New Mexico is called a "Mayordomo". The present Mayordomo for the local acequia has been doing the job for about 50 years and I've been told he's not to be trifled with.
     
  6. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

    Messages:
    7,234
    Joined:
    May 9, 2004
    Location:
    Zone 8a, AZ
    Are you serious? Colorado charges you for the rain that falls on your roof?
     
  7. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

    Messages:
    7,234
    Joined:
    May 9, 2004
    Location:
    Zone 8a, AZ
    just looked this up and i am totally amazed! you are right the state took the rain water too! LOL
    makes me feel bad for folks living in that state for sure!


    "Rainwater harvesting raises some interesting questions with regards to Colorado water law. Technically speaking, all water including rainwater belongs to the state of Colorado and cannot be diverted or impounded if people holding more senior water rights in your river basin want to use the water.

    Directing a downspout towards a garden area or lawn is legal. Catching and holding rainwater in a storage tank, however, could be a violation of water law. The legality of the system depends on river and reservoir levels and existing water rights in your river basin."