Water Right Decrees
Revised: October 12, 2021
Listed below are Decrees covering waters in the State of Utah. Click on a decree name to view documents associated with the decree.
Decrees By River System
Decrees with Important Interpretive Impact on Utah Water Law
- Utah Supreme Court Decision 2013 UT 54 Delta Canal Co., Melville Irrigation Co., Abraham
Irrigation Co., Deseret Irrigation Co., and Central Utah Water Co. Vs. Frank Vincent Family Ranch, LC.
Of importance is paragraph 41 stating that the number of acres alone is not determinative in a forfeiture analysis, and acreages
need not match values in a public decree or general adjudication when considering whether full beneficial use is being exhibited.
- Utah Supreme Court Decision 2011 UT 33 Big Ditch Irrigation Company Vs.
Salt Lake City Corporation addresses that people who aren't the record water right owner are entitled to
file a change application if they are "entitled to the use of water"
- Utah Supreme Court Decision 2011 UT 31 Jennifer Jean Jensen
Executor And Personal Representative Of The Estate Of Marilyn Hamblin Vs. Kent Jones, Utah State Engineer
addresses state engineer’s authority to declare forfeiture of a water right as the basis
for denying a change application.
- Utah Supreme Court Decision 2011 UT 27 Haik v Sandy City discusses the importance
of recording water right deeds promptly and duty of purchasers to take notice of events around them and act in good faith in water right
- Utah Supreme Court Decision 2010 UT 37 Bingham v Roosevelt discusses
a right to ground water levels and addresses standards of care under Utah concept of reasonable access to groundwater.
- Utah Supreme Court Decision 2009 UT 16 Otter Creek v New Escalante addresses water right
adverse use claims and conditions under which they can be sustained.
Utah Supreme Court Decision 2005 UT 64 Strawberry Water Users v USBR discusses
jurisdication on water matters, who may file change applications, and
provides glimpses of the court's views on reuse of both natural drainage
and imported waters.
- Utah Supreme
Court Decision 2005 UT 58 Searle v Milburn Irrigation defines extent of
evidence requirements and burdens of proof for water right applications.
Also provides a court opinion on duties of the applicant and state
engineer prior to certificating a water right application
- Utah Supreme Court decision on Eskelsen v Town of Perry (1991)
makes various comments concerning forfeiture, nonuse, and the perpetuation of a right through beneficial use; suggests a
municipality does not silently convey its water rights by appurtenance in a land transfer; examines the burden of proof
needed to establish the validity of a Diligence Claim and discusses the differences in standing of a Diligence Claim
versus a Statement of Water User's Claim.
- Utah Supreme Court
decision on Bonham v Morgan (1989) defines duties of the state
engineer in approving applications, specifically change applications
and considering public welfare issues.
- Utah Supreme Court decision on Wayman v Murray City (1969) discusses
public policy on water development, difficulties in regulation of underground waters,
replacement of underground water, appropriators right to pressure head,
and doctrine of reasonable use and impairment.