Water Rights of Real Property Owners Self-Quiz










Which of the following would qualify as a watercourse?
Choice 1 A stream flowing alongside a property
Choice 2 A puddle of rain water that collects on a property
Choice 3 A well dug deep beneath a property
Choice 4 All of the above
Anthony, Barbara, Cedric and Debra all own property that borders a small lake. One day, Cedric installs a pump where his property meets the lake and starts pumping the water from the lake to water his crops. Because of this, the water level of the lake goes down. Anthony, Barbara and Debra complain. Cedric claims that he may continue to use his pump. If the jurisdiction follows the riparian doctrine, who is correct?
Choice 1 Cedric
Choice 2Anthony, Barbara and Debra
Old MacDonald has a farm in Arizona. Because of the lack of rain, during the spring, he needs 2,000 gallons of water per day to water his crops. Thus, Old MacDonald builds a well with a super strong pump and pumps 1,000 gallons of water per day from the water table to water his crops. Under the majority rule, may Old MacDonald do this?
Choice 1 Yes, because any property owner may pump as much well water from beneath his own land as he wants
Choice 2 Yes, because Old MacDonald is using all the water for his own property
Choice 3 No; because 2,000 gallons per day is an unreasonable amount of water to pump from the desert water table
Choice 4 No; because the water table belongs to everyone, not just to Old MacDonald, so he is not allowed to build a private well at all
Chandler owns a farm on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in Arkansas. Very often, in the spring time, the rains cause the St. Lawrence to overflow and flood Chandler’s crops. So, Chandler installs a complex drainage and gutter system with pipes and dikes etc. that is designed so that all the excess water from the St. Lawrence in his area should flood his neighbor, Spruill’s property, instead of his own. May Chandler do this?
Choice 1 No
Choice 2 Yes; if his jurisdiction follows the “common enemy” rule
Choice 3 Yes; if his jurisdiction follows the “natural flow” rule
Choice 4 Yes; if his jurisdiction follows the “reasonable use” rule


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