Document Details

The Reasonable Use Doctrine and Water Use Efficiency Report

Craig M. Wilson | April 5th, 2011

The purpose of the report is to review the breadth of the Reasonable Use Doctrine, which can affect all water uses, including urban, hydropower, recreation, environment, and agriculture, and then to focus on how the Reasonable Use Doctrine can be used promote efficient use of water in the agricultural sector.

The underlying premise of this report is that the inefficient use of water is an unreasonable use of water. Accordingly, the Reasonable Use Doctrine is available prospectively to prevent general practices of inefficient water use. Indeed, the Reasonable Use Doctrine, as set forth in the State Constitution and California Statutes is broad and inviolate in scope. As interpreted by case law and administrative decisions and used to its full potential, it can comprehensively address the inefficient use of water in California.


reasonable use doctrine, water rights

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