THE WATER POLICY COMMITTEE
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
REPORT OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE APPOINTED PURSUANT
TO JOINT RESOLUTION NO. R 86, S 107 OF THE GENERAL
ASSEMBLY OF 1953 TO STUDY THE MATTER OF 4
THE WATER POLICY OF THE STATE
Senate-Marvin E. Abrams, Chairman, Whitmire; R. M. Jefferies, Walter-
boro; Alfred Scarborough, Sumter.
House-H. Talmadge Edwards, Vice-Chairman, Inman; James Reaves
Coker, Hartsville; Donald V. Richardson, Georgetown.
Governor's Appointees-C. P. Guess, Jr., Secretary, Denmark; Henry Bus-
bee, Aiken; Joe B. Douthit, Pendleton; Arthur M. Field, Charleston;
Seth A. Meek, Newberry.
To the Members of the General Assembly of South Carolina:
1. We, the members of your Water Policy Committee, respectfully
submit the following report of our findings and recommendations on the
implementation by the General Assembly of the water policy of the State
of South Carolina. The State's water policy was declared in a Joint Reso-
lution of the General Assembly and approved by the Governor of South
Carolina, the Hon. James F. Byrnes, March 20, 1953. The appointment
of this committee was authorized in that Joint Resolution, which also appro-
priated funds for the study made.
2. In making our study of the needed development and use of water for
all beneficial purposes, we drew heavily on the experience and thinking of
many individuals and leaders of organizations representing users of water
for agricultural, municipal, industrial, and recreational purposes. Some
of these groups have been seeking to solve the State's water problems since
1945. Their efforts, which resulted in the passage of the Joint Resolution,
are detailed in the section on the Water Policy Committee, beginning on
Page 13 of this report. The State of South Carolina is indebted to these
and other far-sighted citizens who have contributed to the work of this
3. The proposed legislation to implement the State's policy with respect
to natural stream and lake waters was drafted at the request of the com-
mittee by Gen. L. G. Merritt, legislative counsel of the General Assembly,
and approved by us. The proposed bill is the appendix of this report, be-
ginning on Page 36. General Merritt and your committee had the able
assistance of C. E. Busby of the U. S. Soil Conservation Service, Berkeley,
California, a specialist in water and water rights problems. Mr. Busby is con-
sultant on water to the South Carolina Soil Conservation Committee.
4. Factual information on water supplies, use, needs, and water develop-
ment opportunities was provided by many local, State, and Federal agencies
at the request of your Water Policy Committee. This welcomed help came
Clemson Agricultural College, the State Experiment Station, the State Ex-
tension Service, the South Carolina Soil Conservation Committee, many
Soil Conservation Districts, the State Research, Planning and Development
Board, the South Carolina Water Pollution Control Authority, the South
Carolina Wildlife Resources Department, the State Department of Agricul-
ture, the South Carolina Commission of Forestry, the State Department
of Vocational Agriculture, various municipalities, the Weather Bureau, the
Geologic Survey, the U. S. Forest Service, the Soil Conservation Service,
and the Farmers Home Administration.
Valuable help also came from representatives of business, industry, utili-
ties, railways, wildlife groups, and farm organizations.
5. After weighing all the facts available to us, your committee commends
the General Assembly for passage of the Joint Resolution declaring the
State's water policy, preserving existing rights in the use of water, and au-
thorizing this study of the implementation of this policy. Your committee
concludes that the welfare of the people of South Carolina requires legisla-
tion providing for the development and maximum beneficial use of natural
stream and lake waters of the State.
6. To that end, your committee urges careful consideration of this re-
port and early enactment of the legislation proposed herein.
MARVIN E. ABRAMS
R. M. JEFFERIES
H. TALMADGE EDWARDS
JAMES REAVES COKER
DONALD V. RICHARDSON
C. P. GUESS, JR.
JOE B. DOUTHIT
ARTHUR M. FIELD
SETH A. MEEK
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A New Water Policy For South Carolina
How can South Carolina best use and protect its water resources? The
purpose of this report by the Water Policy Committee is to answer this
question. This Committee was authorized by a joint resolution of the
General Assembly in March, 1953. That resolution declared a policy
with regard to the waters of the state: that the state should control the
development and use of water resources for "the best use of all the people";
that the policy should be so administered as to bring about full use and
protection of the state's water resources.
The members of the Committee, in undertaking the duties assigned to
them, have studied the existing laws relating to the use of our waters. They
have had the cooperation of many agencies that have collected the facts re-
lating to water supply and the problems of water use. The present report
is a summary of such studies as they relate to the need for a clarification
of water policy.
The Committee is convinced that a new law is needed in order that the
abundant water resources of the state may better serve the best interests
of all the people. Looking toward the further development of our state,
it seems that such a law will serve both the best interests of individual citi-
zens and the growth of the state's economy.
The proposed law is shown on pages 36-47.
Existing South Carolina law on water rights is more than 100 years old.
It is limited in scope and largely the result of judicial interpretation. It
leaves unanswered many of the questions on water rights which grow out
of modern demands for water.
At this point the Committee wishes to resort to a brief narrative for two
first, to contrast the limited uses of water 100 years ago with the present
demands that are growing by leaps and bounds;
second, to bring into sharp focus the conflict that exists between present
(and future) demands for water and our 100-year-old law.
: ..~----- -~--------T---~---~--r-*-~--l~r-\_______ ~-------------r~-~-X- ---n--r--------.--r~yra*:-
South Carolina Through A Looking Glass'
June 9, 1837, dawned hot and brassy in Piedmont County, South Caro-
lina. No sign of rain cheered farmer John Roderick. For 36 days he had
looked to the sky in vain hope of rain. Now he saw only trouble as he
looked out over his five acres of parched corn.
"We'll just have to keep trying and hope for a better break next year,
son," he told young Mathew Roderick. Hitching up his horse to plow out
his garden, John Roderick wondered if better luck held good more than
a year at the time. Two years ago heavy rains had kept him from planting
his cotton until the third week in May. Now drouth would cut his corn
yield below last year's 14 bushels to the acre.
As the oak buckets of water for his mother cut into his hands, young
Mathew wished that Cherokee Creek ran right through their house rather
than past his father's 50 acres. Or, better still, that the Rodericks had a
pump on their backyard well like some of the folks in Piedmontville.
As he followed his horse, John Roderick's thoughts went back to his
conversation with Lawyer Ephraim. Back from Columbia, the young lawyer
had joshed with him about having to tear down the dam for his grist mill
if his downstream neighbors thought he was reducing the stream flow too
much. That's what the Supreme Court had decided, reported Ephraim,
mentioning the riparian doctrine of the law. The attorney had explained that
under this doctrine adopted by the court, you can't use the water that runs
through your land if you keep any of your downstream neighbors from
having just as much water as you have. You own the water together; it
must be held subject to use in equal shares. For sure, thought Roderick,
there always will be enough water for everybody-even though almost 600-
000 people are living in South Carolina.
More than 100 years later, it wag something of a coincidence that sun-
rise on June 9, 1953, found populous Piedmont County in its thirty-sixth
day without rain.
As Mathew Roderick III climbed down from his tractor, he cast a wor-
ried eye at the family's 500 acres of peaches. It had looked as if Cherokee
SThe names and places in this story are fictitious. "Piedmontville" and "Piedmont
County", like the specific events of this narrative, are intended as a composite picture
of South Carolina's water usage and water rights 100 years ago and today.
Creek might slow to a trickle back in the dry spring; everybody had been
pumping water for spray mixtures. Now the stream was low again-too
low to repeat last year's timely irrigation. Then a premium crop had paid
off the final thousand dollars on the new pump and pipes.
The 100 acres of corn could use an inch or two of water to the acre if
he and his father were to break even on the new hybrid seed and the
amounts of fertilizer Clemson had recommended to produce 75 bushels
to the acre.
All this came to mind after last night's conversation with Mr. Clements,
the city attorney from Piedmontville, who had talked with his father. He
still remembered the words: "We hate to do it, but we've got to ask you
to stop irrigating. The people in our city are in critical danger without all
the water the city can get from Cherokee Creek."
Then had come his father's irritated reply: "We farmers have been want-
to build a joint reservoir to store the excess water in winter. ur is-
trict supervisor said we ought to go slow until the law was clearer on
whether we could. Now you say we can't take water from the creek that
has run past Roderick land for over 100 years."
Mr. Clements had been courteous but insistent in pointing out that Pied-
montville probably had acquired rights to use water since it began pump-
ing water 43 years ago. Then it had been on a small scale; now it was to
supply one of the state's fastest growing cities. Piedmontville probably
would win a court case, Mr. Clements had said, since the state's 100-year-
old water law did not recognize irrigation as a "reasonable use."
"Something ought to be done," thought Mathew as he pumped gas into
his tractor. "Piedmontville has two new factories, a lot more houses, a new
city swimming pool. Yet the whole county fumes and sits on its own hands
because nobody knows, without a court fight, how much water he can count
on from one year to the next. We've got new machinery, new cities, new
roads, new schools, new markets, new laws on health and business and lots
of things. It sure looks like we could get a new law on using water."
The Lesson of the 100 Years
This story shows how the demand for South Carolina's water has in-
creased during 100 years. It is typical of the changes that have taken place
in the Piedmont area and the entire state.
More than 100 years ago South Carolina adopted the riparian doctrine
of water law. This law gives to each owner of riparian land-land which
touches a watercourse-the right to use that water. But this right is shared
with every other owner of riparian land on the same watercourse. Every
man's use of water is restricted by the right of every other riparian owner
to the same quantity and quality of water.
One hundred years ago such a restriction worked little hardship: John
Roderick's mill dam did not alter the stream flow noticeably. He took out
only enough water to serve his family's needs and to water his livestock.
Now, 100 years later, we find that "Piedmont County's" municipal, in-
dustrial and agricultural progress is chafing under the restrictions of a doc-
trine that did not foresee modem plumbing, air-conditioning, rayon plants,
paper mills and irrigation. What is happening in "Piedmontville" is hap-
pening all over our. state. Throughout South Carolina we find visible signs
of progress in industrial development, education, communication and trans-
portation. Virtually every phase of life in our state is developing rapidly.
Water As A Resource Of South Carolina
OUR PRESENT WEALTH
Natural resources have contributed much to this development. From
beneath the land we took mineral materials valued at over $12 million in
Among the state's industries, forest resources and industries are second
only to textiles in value of products and number employed, yielding $137
million in 1946-47.
A productive soil and new methods have combined to bring a diversified
agriculture to South Carolina which yielded an income of $213 million in
Our Most Important Resource
Water is one of the state's most important resources. Blessed with an
abundant rainfall and an extensive system of rivers and streams, few citizens
pause to realize the true value of this resource. Man can exist without food
for a month, but without water only a week. Many cities are hard pressed
to find new water sources to serve their growing populations. Today water
is the largest single raw material used by American factories. Irrigation
is a "new frontier" in Southern agriculture.
Just how valuable are South Carolina's water resources? We do know
that all life depends upon it-all agriculture, industries, cities and towns.
Water has different values in different uses; it can create new wealth for
each user as it flows from the Upper Piedmont through the Coastal Plains
to the coast.
What Others Say
One of South Carolina's most famous citizens, Bernard M. Baruch, has
ranked water as more valuable than gold or oil. He recently predicted that
in fifty years the nation's water resources will be more valuable than its oil.
What do others say about this great resource?
Robert L. Richard" General Manager of Du Pont's textile fiber depart-
ment, says, "Out of 43 sites considered, the best was found in South Caro-
2Eighth Annual Report (Columbia, S. C.: Research, Planning and Development Board,
1953), pp. 36-38. Statistical information on the state is from this source unless otherwise
lina." And so today on an 800-acre site near Camden Du Pont's new plant
produces the firm's synthetic fabric, 'Orlon'. "Water in abundance" was
one of the first requirements for the new plant which Mr. Richards listed.
"Supplemental irrigation is proving profitable and rapidly gaining favor
statewide. Therefore, the imperative need for your serious and immediate
consideration of the problem of providing basic legislation guaranteeing to
industry, to municipalities, and to agriculture a fair share of our great re-
sources of natural water supply to be most beneficially used is of urgent
and unquestioned importance."
-E. H. Agnew, President,
South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation.
"Industry is interested first in quantity and then quality. Naturally a
good quality water reduces cost of treatment and, therefore, lowers manu-
-J. R. LeGrand, Industrial Geologist,
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company.
"... the complexity of present-day economy is such that all progress
depends on adequate water supply."
-Allan C. Mustard, Jr., Commercial Man-
ager, South Carolina Electric & Gas
". .. water resources of South Carolina are extremely important from
the standpoint of the state's industrial development."
-F. Clifton Toal, General Industrial Agent,
Southern Railway System.
more thought needs to be given today to the matter of having a
dependable and adequate supply of water and a secure legal right in the use
of it .... it is evident that if we are to use irrigation on an increasing scale
water laws in this state need to be more definitely revised."
-Greenville, S. C., News, June 30, 1953.
"The water control bill passed by the General Assembly and signed into
law by Governor Byrnes is progressive legislation of wide significance. .
This State scores another first in adopting a water policy."
-The State, Columbia, S. C., April 1, 1953,
commenting on the water policy declara-
tion by the General Assembly.
"The future well-being of our nation and of South Carolina is contingent
upon a sound principle and basic objective in water management. The water
table is falling to a serious degree; more water must be placed in under-
ground channels where it will move slowly. Also, the larger amounts of
water that go into the streams carrying vast quantities of plant growing sub-
stances must be stopped.
"Economic agriculture in the future will depend upon irrigation even in
this humid state. To have irrigation, ample water for expanding industries,
and increases for domestic uses we must have a water control law."
-R. F. Poole, President,
The Clemson Agricultural College.
A Look to the Future
Will South Carolina always enjoy this abundance of water? The people
of South Carolina must answer this question. Scientists tell us that, for
the earth as a whole, we have as much water as we ever had. But they
also tell us that in any one area we can take waiter out of the ground faster
than nature stores it. We can abuse our forests and fields so that rainfall
rushes quickly across the state and runs wasted into the sea carrying with
it life-sustaining topsoil. We can live under laws which fail to take into
account growing demands for water by factories, cities and farms. And
we can leave unchanged the old laws that fail to give reasonable protection
to our dollars invested in water development for all beneficial uses.
How Much Water in South Carolina?
South Carolina can count 53 named rivers within her boundaries. These
S rivers make up a system of four major drainage basins. They are the Pee
Dee, Santee-Cooper, Savannah and Edisto. Because of their vast drainage
areas, in some cases reaching beyond the state's borders, the major rivers
of the state provide a heavy flow of water. The combined drainage area
of the Santee and Pee Dee Rivers is greater than the total area of the
state. Among all the nation's rivers on the Atlantic Coast, the Pee Dee
ranks second in drainage area; the Santee, third. No point in the state is
far distant from a river and its valuable water.
How much water do the rivers of South Carolina hold?
Engineers tell us that the Pee Dee River sent an average of 87,590 gallons
per second past a check point near Mars Bluff in 1945.3 Near Bishopville
the Lynches River flowed at a rate of 6,395 gallons per second. The Ca-
tawba River carried an average of 31,490 gallons past a gauge near Rock
Hill. Average flow of the Wateree near Camden was 50,228 gallons. The
Saluda carried 6,432 gallons past Ware Shoals and 13,336 gallons per sec-
ond past Columbia. Past a check point on the. Seneca near Anderson went
12,671 gallons per second. These figures reflect the wealth that is South
Carolina's, running only partially harnessed across the state.
3 Summary of Records of Surface Water Supply of South Carolina 1884-1946 (Bulletin
No. 17 [Columbia, S. C.: Research, Planning and Development Board, 1948]).
But rivers are only one evidence of what we do with our water as it
moves through the timeless cycle of rainfall, evaporation and rainfall.
Weather records show that South Carolina receives abundant annual rain-
fall; an average of nearly four feet (47.7 inches) falls on the entire area
of the state. This rainfall varies by seasons and by sections of the state.
Greenville County leads the state with an average annual rainfall of 62.7
inches. Low average rainfall occurs in the Charleston area-40.3 inches
But high annual average rainfall is little comfort to a farmer when his
crops are dying during one of our frequent drouths, or to the factory owner
when stream flow is less than he needs to keep working, or to a city forced
to ration water. When we all go to the rivers at the same time during dry
spells, we have too little water to go around.
Ground water, or water in -underground streams and lakes, is a third form
of South Carolina's water wealth. This is the water that gives an even flow
to our springs, our wells, and the headwaters of our streams. It is nature'
underground storage system; it is closely related to surface water. While\
recognizing this relationship, the Water Policy Committee's study and pro-
posed law covers only surface waters in well-defined watercourses-streams,
rivers and lakes.
OUR RECORD IN USING RESOURCES
How does South Carolina use this abundant water resource?
Oil, lying untapped below the earth's surface, is of little immediate value
to man. Oil gushing skyward likewise is of little value to man. But oil,
flowing from a properly-managed well, takes on its fullest value.
So it is with water. If the Santee flowed unchecked to the Atlantic, it
would be of value only to the occasional user. But it can be made to gen-
erate power, to irrigate fields, to supply factories as a raw material or cool-
ing agent, to serve growing cities, and to provide recreation. Unlike many
of our resources, the same water can be used again and again as it moves
This unique characteristic of water-its recurring cycle and repeated avail-
ability-is in sharp contrast to most of our natural resources. This explains
in part why we still have a chance to conserve our water resources and use
them more wisely. Our national and state histories contain too many chap-
ters of poor management or outright squandering of natural resources. The
record is all too familiar-forests stripped and burned, soil farmed reck-
lessly, wildlife slaughtered, minerals mined with little regard to waste.
The Water Policy Committee
To reverse this trend in agriculture, South Carolina, along with the rest
of the country, has adopted a soil and water conservation program. Our
General Assembly passed the Soil Conservation Districts Law to place this
program in the hands of local farmers. A State Soil Conservation Com-
mittee was created by this law to help the local districts and those working
The farmer-supervisors of the districts formed the South Carolina Asso-
ciation of Soil Conservation District Supervisors to work on state-wide
problems. In 1945, districts in the Coastal Plains asked for help on the
problem of excess water and drainage. In 1948 a meeting was held for
more intensive study of the Coastal Plains problem. Two more conferences
followed in 1949. At this second meeting the group agreed that "any pro-
gram considered should not be limited to drainage but rather should be
one of overall water management including the control and impounding
of water for prevention of soil erosion and its utilization so that all sections
of the state would benefit."
District leaders soon saw that water-use is a problem concerning all the
people of South Carolina. They recognized that all water users must have
a voice and a hand in solving the problem.
THE STUDY GAINS SUPPORT
In the Fall of 1950 added impetus was given to the study. At that time
J. B. Douthit, president of the conservation district supervisors, presided
at a meeting in Columbia. Attending were representatives of many state
and federal agencies, farm groups, railroads, utility companies and indus-
tries. Out of this meeting came an important resolution:
1. The conference recognized the importance of water as a resource;
2. President Douthit was authorized to name a steering committee to join
with the Research, Planning and Development Board in starting a
water management program for the state;
3. The conference decided to request from the General Assembly funds
to promote such a program.
In the meantime, Clemson College through its research and educational
work was helping to show the value of water to agriculture. The state is
indebted to W. B. Camp, a native of South Carolina, now of Bakersfield,
California, for grants to Clemson for irrigation research. J. M. Eleazer,
Clemson Extension Service information specialist, was writing the story of
better farm living through better use of water.
Water also was an important selling point for the State Research, Plan-
ning and Development Board in bringing many new industries to South
In 1951 the State Soil Conservation Committee took as one of its first
jobs the finding of an effective way to handle the state's water problems. It
sought the advice of Dean Samuel L. Prince of the University of South
Carolina School of Law.
PROBLEMS OF WATER-USE GROW
Then came more and more questions from farmers through their district
supervisors asking the State Committee to help solve specific water-use
problems. Demands for water were highest when water was scarcest during
drouths. Conflicts were rising between and among farm, factory and city
water users. Existing water laws seemed inadequate to resolve these con-
flicts with justice to all water users.
With these problems before them, the State Committee went to Dr. T. S.
Buie, then regional director of the Soil Conservation Service, to locate quali-
fied personnel. In May and June, 1952, C. E. Busby, SCS specialist, of
Berkeley, California, was lent to the State Committee for an on-site survey
of the state's water problems and an intensive study of South Carolina water
law. Mr. Busby is an engineer, geologist and attorney specializing in water
rights. Dean Prince worked closely with the State Committee and Mr.
From Over the State-Help and Advice
Following this study numerous conferences were held with leaders in
related fields. At each of these conferences, the State Soil Conservation
Committee was asked to take the leadership, with assured support from
other water using groups. The representation at one meeting arranged by
Governor Byrnes and the State Committee illustrates the cooperative effort
and the attempt to secure from every source the best thinking on the sub-
ject. Represented were:
Clemson College, the Soil Conservation Service, the Extension Service,
the State Experiment Station, the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Depart-
ment of Research, Planning and Development, the State Department of Vo-
cational Agriculture, the State Forestry Commission, the Farmers Home
Administration, the State Association of Soil Conservation Districts, the
Attorney General's office, the South Carolina Water Pollution Control Au-
thority, the Production and Marketing Administration, the State Farm Bu-
reau, the State Grange, the University of South Carolina, the South Carolina
Municipal Association, South Carolina Division of Game, the South Caro-
lina Electric and Gas Company, the General Assembly, railway officials, the
State Chamber of Commerce, and the Governor's office.
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTS
In March, 1953, came the joint resolution of the General Assembly set-
ting out the state's water policy and authorizing the appointment of an 11-
man Water Policy Committee to recommend ways of putting this broad
policy into effect. The resolution declares that this policy is to give the
state control of the development and use of water for all beneficial purposes;
administration of this policy shall seek to bring about full use and protection
of the water resources of the state.
"The Best Use for All the People"
This philosophy of the "best use for all the people" has been constantly
in the mind of the Water Policy Committee in our studies and in drafting
S recommended legislation. Indeed, study of existing water law leads to the
conclusion that the General Assembly must enact new laws if this philoso-
phy is to have any desirable effect on the daily life of South Carolinians.
We emphasize at this point that our recommendations do not disturb
existing vested rights of water users. This is in keeping with a specific pro-
vision of the joint resolution; it is also a specific provision in the proposed
Twin Needs: A New Law and More Cons rvation
We should emphasize also that the proposed act does not in itself hold
a complete and final solution to all the pr blems of water use. There will
remain the problem of land use. The writer we use, regardless of where
we live, comes from the land. We begin to measure our available water
when it reaches the ground as rain or s ow. How much of it we can
control, hold and use depends a great deal on what kind of land the rain
or snow falls on. Soil conservation does nre- a- oil. The ter-
races, cover crops, con gs, permanent pastures, farm ponds, and
planting of trees promoted under the program also save water. These meas-
ures slow down the run-off of rainfall and help the soil soak up water, stor-
ing it for future use. So, a new law that makes water more useful and
points up its value should bring added support to conservation measures.
No Action, Increasing Problems
Such is the challenge and the opportunity that confronts the legislature
of South Carolina. The alternative to a new law is to leave the present
inadequate law in effect. This would allow present conditions to continue
and to become increasingly confused and inequitable. It would mean that
much of the value of our water resources would be lost.
FACTORS REQUIRING ACTION
The very development of our state exerts an increasing demand on our
water resources. Certain factors are already at work which indicate the crit-
ical situation in our state.
We Use More Water
The first of these factors is our increasing use of water. For industrial
use, for municipal use, for agricultural use, for recreational use, the demand
is the same: more water.
In Our Industries
Water is the largest single raw material of industry. Since 1945 there
has been a remarkable growth of industry in our state. A recent count
showed 31 broad types of manufacture, producing over 700 articles. In the
period from 1945 through June, 1953 manufacturers invested or marked
for investment in South Carolina over $800 million for industrial develop-
ments. Of this sum, $484 million is for new plants; $348 million is for
expanding plants. This will mean new jobs for over 100,000 people and
new wages in excess of $250 million each year.
But progress often means "growing pains". Between 1945 and 1950
industry's use of water increased 350 per cent, or 31/2 times in five years!
You may ask: how can industry use so much water? Looks at the amounts
of water it takes to produce everyday items:
WATER USAGE BY VARIOUS INDUSTRIES4
Industries in South Carolina
Wood Pulp-sulphate -..-...----------_------......
W ood Pulp-sulphite ..-.....................---- --
.p Wood Pulp-soda --------....-----..........
Wood Pulp-ground wood -..----...... -.
Paper --..-.-...--.-.. .._ -.
Paperboard --------------- .... .. .
Meat packing (hogs) ------
Rayon ----......._..._ ...... ...
Cotton goods ---.. ..- ...- ............_. .-_-__
Milk, cream, butter ----.. -_ .~~.. ........_....
Woolens and worsteds -- _._--- .
Dairying ------ --- ________
B .eer ---- .---- ....................... .......
Soft drinks ---. _......... ........ ........ .
Canning and preserving ----- ---.........
Beet Sugar -----.....-..- .. ..---------------
Cane sugar (refining only) --..
Coal washing ----- --.............__.
Coke -.....----- ............
Steel (finishing) .- -----------
---.. -- 200
--..-- -- 65,000
Tanning ---...--.................. 8 per pound
Soap manufacture ---------------- .....- 0.12-224 per pound
Gasoline production --------.... -------- ---_.......... 1,050 per barrel
Oil Refining .-------------------...... -- -- 770 per barrel
SThis information supplied by Water Pollution Control Authority for South Carolina.
In broader terms, a large paper mill uses 50 million gallons a day; this
amount of water was nearly half the average daily requirements of all cities
, in the state in 1950. A steam power-generating plant uses 144,000 to
240,000 gallons of water for each ton of coal burned. To produce one ton
of rubber it takes 85,000 gallons of water. The list might go on and on.
The people who make a business of water studies-the hydrologists, ge-
ologists, and engineers-report that South Carolina has plenty of water for
a great expansion of her industries.
But the proper use of water is the key to this future growth.
In Our Cities
The state's greatest resource is its 2,117,027 people. In the 10 year
period 1940 to 1950, population increased 217,000-slightly more than
S during the previous 20 years, 1920-1940. As in the nation, South Carolina
per gal. milk
saw her people tending to move from the farm to towns and cities. The
1950 census showed that 143,114 more of our people lived in urban centers,
an increase of 30 per cent. At the same time, many rural people moved
into small towns and thus require municipal water services.
This growth of cities and towns has brought "growing pains." The amount
of water used by municipalities jumped from 55 million gallons per day
in 1945 to 100 million gallons in 1950-an increase of 80 per cent. And
our cities continue to grow. Fot instance, Greenwood's municipal use of
water nearly doubled in the 5-year period. It also varied in a recent year
from 45 million gallons in February to 70 million gallons in August. "We
wish to call attention to several factors that have led many cities to grief,"
says William R. Wise, manager and engineer for the Commissioners of
Public Works. "Average daily water consumption does not give a true
picture, as all water utilities must provide facilities and have sufficient water
for any one peak day .. our average daily consumption last year (1952)
was 1,658,000 gallons, but the peak consumption in July was 2,950,000
A growing population demands more water. But, most significantly, each
of us uses more water than our fathers did. Many of the improvements that
go with modern living add to the amount of water each of us uses. Modem
plumbing, electric washing machines, dishwashers, air-conditioning equip-
ment-all require more water than the old-fashioned equipment they dis-
As we have seen in the story of "Piedmontville," this concentration in
cities may bring legal as well as "physical" problems in obtaining water
supplies. Cities not on a river, stream or lake must find or create a source
of water. This may lead to legal tangles in times of short supply as it did
in the case of "Piedmontville." But again the hydrologists report there
is enough water in South Carolina, if wisely used, to provide for greater
growth of our cities.
The proper use of water is the key to this growth.
On Our Farms
Census figures of 1910 showed 13.5 million acres in farms in South Caro-
lina. By 1950 the figure had dropped to 11.8 million acres. Yet agricul-
tural uses of water are rapidly increasing. In 1945, 30 million gallons were
used on the farm; by 1950, just five years later, the figure had almost doubled
-58 million gallons. The actual increase may be greater, for by their
nature these figures are hard to obtain.
How can farmers, and fewer of them, use more water on fewer acres?
The answer lies in the changes in modem farming.
Part of the answer is in the shift from staple crops like cotton and to-
bacco to other types of agriculture. Increasingly, dairy and beef cattle,
truck farming, poultry and orchards make up a larger and larger part of
farm production. More cattle mean more water. Cattle drink 15-25 gal-
lons of water per day. A flock of 1,000 chickens needs 50 gallons of water
Thus, South Carolina's 427,000 cattle consume over 8.5 million gallons
of water each day; her 4.3 million fowl, 215,000 gallons; her 612,000 hogs,
1 million gallons per day; 158,000 horses and mules, 3 million gallons per
day. This totals about 15 million gallons per day for animals on farms.
In the two-year period 1950-52 the number of cattle in the state increased
by 57,000 or 17 per cent. At this rate, the water requirements for cattle
alone increase each year by over 1 million gallons per day.
Another reason for the farmer's need of more water can be found in
the way he lives. The farm home, like the city home, is using more house-
hold appliances and conveniences. These require more water. In fact,
the more refined and convenient our way of living, the more we depend on
larger supplies of water.
But irrigation is the newest and largest use of water on the farm. The
practice of irrigation, only recently come into use in our state, has demon-
strated such increases in production that we may expect rapid expansion of
irrigation on our farms. Agricultural leaders have termed this "man-made
rainfall" the new frontier in farming. Irrigation is the newest development
in the long line of advances in agriculture. Better methods of breeding
animals, better fertilizers, new seed varieties and more and better farm ma-
chinery have increased yields per acre; they have made it possible for fewer
farmers to produce the food for our increasing non-farm population.
Now comes irrigation. The farmer invests heavily in seed, fertilizer,
insecticides, machinery and labor. Yet lack of rain at critical stages of the
crop season may ruin his investment. Many farmers are now convinced
that the extra investment in bringing water to their crops can bring greater
returns and reduce the risks of damage from drouths.
Clemson reports many tests of the value of irrigation on pasture, row
crops and truck crops. A few examples are tabulated in Tabe 2 on page 20.
Clemson reports that the quality of the crop was improved in every crop
studied. Irrigation produced longer staple cotton, higher grade corn, pas-
tures higher in protein with greatly improved grazing throughout the year.
The value of irrigation on truck and fruit crops is widely known and ac-
cepted and is not detailed here.
Clemson's studies of irrigation, while preliminary, have extended over the
period since 1946. They indicate the tremendous value of irrigation in
increasing farm production.
Irrigated pastures mean more than just increased yields. With water
when he wants it, the farmer can come closer to his goal of year-round
pastures. That means greater production as well as less time and expense
in making and storing hay.
Experiments in other Southern states bear out the Clemson reports. Flori-
da reported four times as much beef produced on an acre of irrigated pasture
SOME TYPICAL RESULTS OF IRRIGATION OF FIELD CROPS5
Irrigation Approx. Approx.
Increase in Yield Water Gross Cost of Net Year
Due to Irrigation Applied Return Irrigation Return
655 lb/a Seed Cotton 2- .6" $ 91.65 $ 9.10 $ 82.55 1953
300 lb/a Seed Cotton -.- 1.2" 42.00 4.20 37.80 1953
592 lb/a Seed Cotton -...- 3.8" 82.84 13.30 69.54 1953
Avg. 516 lb/a Seed Cotton -_- 2.5" 72.16 8.87 63.30 1953
35 bu/a -----------------. 2.7" 59.40 9.45 49.95 1952
50 bu/a ---........ ---- 4.5" 87.30 15.75 71.55 1952
64 bu/a ------------ 7.5" 111.75 26.25 85.50 1952
Avg. 49 bu/a .__-..-------.---.-- 4.9" 86.15 17.15 69.00 1952
356 lb/a --------- 3.4" 202.98 11.90 191.08 1953
499 lb/a ---- *(Est. 4.0") 380.00 14.00 366.00 1952
Avg. 428 lb/a .......---- 3.7" 291.49 12.95 278.54 '52 &'53
2500 lb/a Dry Matter .----- 8.6" 93.74 30.10 63.64 1951
2770 lb/a Dry Matter ..---. 8.5" 103.70 29.75 73.95 1951
Avg. 2635 lb/a Dry Matter 8.6" 98.72 29.93 68.80 1951
6From information supplied by W. P. Law, Jr., associate agricultural engineer, The
Clemson Agricultural College. Tests were conducted at Clemson with the exception
of the tobacco tests which were run in Florence County.
Cotton experiments in 1953 showed that irrigation increased yields an average of
516 lbs. per acre. At a cost of $8.87 for irrigation, a net return of $63.30 was
realized. Thus, the extra yield due to, irrigation was 7 times the cost of irrigation.
Corn experiments showed that irrigation increased yields 49 bushels per acre. At
a cost of $17.15 for irrigation, a net return of $69 was realized. Thus, the extra
yield due to irrigation was 4 times the cost of irrigation.
In tobacco experiments, yields were increased an average of 428 lbs. per acre. At
a cost of $12.95 for irrigation, the net return was $278.54. Thus, the extra yield due
to irrigation was 21 times the cost of irrigation.
Experiments on pasture grasses showed an increased yield of 2635 lbs. of hay per
acre. Here, $29.93 for irrigation produced an increase of $68.80 in value of crops.
Thus, the value produced by irrigation was 2.3 times the cost of irrigation.
as on the same type of pasture without irrigation. In Virginia irrigation
jumped potato yields from 60 bags to 200-300 bags per acre.
Many South Carolina farmers have reacted in the way you would expect.
More and more of them are studying this new way of farming; they are
buying pumps and pipes to irrigate. That means more demands on South
Carolina's rivers and streams, more questions about water rights. Again
the engineers say the water is there.
The key to the problem is the proper use of water.
Water for recreational use-for swimming, boating, hunting, fishing-
raises questions of both quantity and quality of water. Use of water for
this purpose does not reduce the supply of water. Here the problem is
largely one of access to water, of improving lakes and of damming streams.
As more of our people move to cities, they must depend on others for water
for this purpose. How can this interest of the public best be protected?
The Problem of Drouths
Turning from the problem of demands for more water for at least four
purposes, let us face one that is closely related-drouths.
Drouths in a state that averages 47.7 inches of rain each year? Yes,
South Carolina shares with other states of the Southeast the problem of
great variation in rainfall from one month to the next. The records show
that South Carolina can count on six or seven drouths of two weeks or more
each year. Despite claims of the old-timers, the climate is changing very
little. Rainfall still follows much the same pattern it always has.
Why then the headlines of cities rationing water, of farmers' losses run-
ning into the millions, of factories running on short shifts? The ever-
growing demands for water which we have already noted accent the compe-
tition for a constant amo .-nt Economics also raise a special prob-
S rt e farmer. He now spends more on land preparation, more on
seed, more on fertilizer-in short, more on his total operation. When
drouth occurs, it need not be the most severe on record to mean record-
breaking losses for the farmer.
The rise and fall of the state's rivers reflect the variation in rainfall. They
spotlight the problem that must be faced by users who depend on rivers
and streams for their water supply. See Figures 2, 4, 5 on pp. 23 and 26.
These measurements were downstream stations, where dams do not affect
These figures point out several things. The show how important it is
that we find some way to even the flow as far asmn can. This will mean
gar attention to soil and water rmnnrvatin Poor land-use means that
rainfall rushes across the land and down the streams in a short-lived peak.
Uncorrected, rainfall sweeps across the land and downstream at ever-in-
creasing speeds. It also carries more and more valuable topsoil with it.
Tests by Soil Conservation Service engineers in South Carolina show
how important it is that land subject to erosion be planted in crops that
hold soil and water.9 They made careful tests to find out how fast rainfall
is soaked up by land in different uses. Their results showed that rainfall
went two to five times deeper in one hour in soil protected by sod than it did
in soil growing row crops under clean cultivation.
The Problem of Pollution
South Carolina faces a third problem in water-use-pooreraality of its
water. As we have seen, erosion means that soil goes downstream with
the water. Carried in the water, topsoil is no longer valuable; it is now
an impurity that lowers the value of the water for many uses.10
In a related field, South Carolina already has asserted its responsibility
to her citizens. In 1950 the General Assembly passed a law creating the
Water Pollution Control Authority. This unit of the health department
seeks to prevent new pollution and correct old causes of lower water qual-
ity. It must approve any new plans for disposing of any wastes into rivers
and streams. Such action prevents the loading of streams beyond their
capacity. Properly managed, a stream can throw off impurities. Over-
loaded, it loses this ability. There is additional loss of fish, wildlife and
other forms of life in such streams.
The Problem of Storage
A fourth phase of South Carolina's water-use problem is that of storage.
This problem becomes more acute each year. Power companies have-la--
the chief builders of dams in the state, storing water to use for generating
electricity. In virtually every instance, a special law has been passed by
the legislature to permit each project.
Dams on a much smaller scale are planned or are in use by farmers whoij
are pooling their funds for joint irrigation work. As the scale of this typeI
of cooperation increases, conflicts in storage and water rights are almost
Can the State of South Carolina, under its present law, aid in the con-
struction of storage dams and basins? Are farmers on safe ground legally
in undertaking joint storage and irrigation projects on a small scale? On a
large scale? Can water be diverted from a stream in periods of peak flow
into storage ponds? On their own lands South Carolina farmers built more
s Frank Lesesne and T. C. Peele, "Infiltration Rates of South Carolina Soils", (Progress
Report No. 1, [Columbia, S. C.: Soil Conservation Service, January 15, 1950]).
1o An interesting account of the problems of mudiness and silting may be found in the
Spartanburg- Herald-Journal, August 7, 1949, p. A-6.
NO R T H CAROLINA
, ,, S M J A E
SCALE IN MILES
o 0 10 20 30 40
EDISTO RIVER NEAR GIVHANS7
Water Discharge in Second-Feet, Monthly Averages, 1942-46.
7 Ibid., p. 138.
Average discharge by months for the 4-year period varied from a high volume
E 4,239 second-feet in the months of March to a low average of 1,093 second-feet
i the November months. Variations were greater in individual years:
High: Month Low: Month
1944-5 ..-- 9,173 September 749 June
1945-6 6,861 January 998 September
LYNCHES RIVER NEAR BISHOPVILLES
Water Discharge in Second-Feet, Monthly Averages, 1942-46.
f..' --- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ----- -- --- --
1600 EAR AVERAGE
i Ibid., p. 13.
Average flow of water by months for the 4-year period varied from a high of
254 second-feet in March to a low of 300 second-feet in June. However, variations
individual years were greater. Two years are contrasted:
High: Month Low: Month
1943-4 .- 1,979 March 212 October
1945-6 ----... .--. 1,493 January 289 September
RAINFALL IN SOUTH CAROLINA
SALUDA RIVER NEAR WEST GREENVILLE6
Water Discharge in Second-Feet, Monthly Averages, 1942-46.
SOct. No, Dec. Jon. Fob. Mor. Ap. Way Jun J ul- y Aug. Sept,.
* Summary of Records of Surface Water ., p. 93.
SFor the 4-year period, the average monthly flow of water varied from a high
of 1,031 second-feet in March to a low of 303 second-feet in September.
\ Greater variation was, of course, shown from month to month in any one year.
Two consecutive years show these extremes:
/ High: Month Low: Month
1944-5 ........-.- 685 March 337 October
1945-6 .... --- 1,875 January 283 October
- 4.YEAP AVERAGE
On. Nov. n. F.b.. r. A-p. M -. Juneo July Au. -SPU .
S0t. No. De. Jn. Feb. Mor. Apr. Moy p Jun July Aug. Sept.
than 5,000 storage ponds as a start toward better storage and more evenly
distributed water supplies. These are ponds that collect surface drainage
waters. The problem of ring a er remains. South
SC roia nee s to provide laws that answer these questions. We need a
sound legal foundation on which to build a pattern of wise, just and ef-
SEASONAL VARIATION: TOO MUCH OR
TOO LITTLE WATER
Perhaps the problem of storage, better than any other one factor, spot-
lights the dilemma in which our seasonal variation in rainfall leaves us.
With too much rainfall the state suffers from erosion, floods, water-
logged lands. We need better physical means to store this surplus for use
during drouths; yet existing laws handicap our efforts.
With too little rainfall, competition for water becomes acute. Again,
existing laws handicap our efforts to decide whose claim to water is best
and what share each user should get.
THE TWO ROADS TO A SOLUTION
In carrying out the General Assembly's request for a study to determine
the best water policy for the future needs of South Carolina, the Water
Policy Committee has become convinced of the need for two~ppaches to
this problem-the legal and the "physical~
Our chief concern a fujm lltee has been to determine the provisions
of a law that will place the water resources of the state to the best use for
all her citizens. At the present time the Committee recommends an act
covering only surface water. We believe that a study of ground water should
be made as soon as possible. This study could serve as the basis for fu-
ture legislation. From this study may come recommendations for legislation
on ground water problems-fully as important as and closely related to
surface water problems. The main purpose of the law now proposed is to
provide the legal foundation for balancing supply and demand for our sur-
face water resources. Obviously, no law can produce more water. It can
only settle the question of how we will share and use our water.
Our proposed law calls renewed attention to the fact that we must do
a better job in the actual handling of our surface water. The work of the
conservationist and agricultural engineer takes on new significance. Here
is a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. The law
can make more firm the individual's water rights and provide greater incen-
tive for joining in conservation programs to use land and water wisely. In
turn, the conservation program will mean better physical control of water,
making provisions of the law more meaningful. In concert, these two ap-
proaches should continually serve to re-inforce each other.
A New Water Policy For South Carolina
THE ORIGIN OF OUR WATER LAW
The settlement of colonial South Carolina was largely a British venture.
English law came with the colonists and, later, with the more formal British
administration of the colony.
In 1712 the South Carolina General Assembly adopted the English
common law. Apparently there was no established system of water rights
at that time. Customary uses of streams were recognized. Had this trend
continued, our water law and that of the English might have been adapted
to industrial development, for in England artificial uses of water were begin-
ning to be recognized. But this trend was interrupted.
Blackstone introduced two principles which influenced English law. He
recognized rights growing out of long and continued access of water but
did not emphasize common use or ownership of land touching the water.
His second concept was that prior occupation on the stream limited the
rights that could be acquired through this long use. In 1822 the South
Carolina Supreme Court followed Blackstone, but his second principle, pri-
ority of right, was not at issue."1 Most American colonies early veered
away from this doctrine of exclusive right by prior occupancy.12
In 1837 the South Carolina Supreme Court adopted the riparian doc-
trine.13 This doctrine takes its name from a Latin word and means "living
on the bank of a river, lake or tidewater." Broadly speaking, under this
doctrine every owner whose land touches the stream is entitled to have it
flow by his place without loss of quality or quantity. The riparian owner
may make reasonable use of the stream for his own domestic needs sub-
ject to the same right by all other riparian owners.
The American and French Revolutions contributed greatly to the adoption
of this theory of water use. Both emphasized the rights of man. In 1804
France adopted the Code Napoleon which set forth a strict interpretation of
riparian law. It was adopted in Louisiana in 1812, when American senti-
ment was anti-British and pro-French. Then, through the influence of the
eminent American jurists, Story and Kent, American courts adopted prin-
x1 Haymes v. Gault, 1 McCord 543, 545 (1822).
12 "American Water Rights Law", C. E. Busby, The South Carolina Law Quarterly, Vol
5, No. 2-A, p. 112.
Is Omelvany v. Jaggers, 2 Hill 634, 9 S. C. 294 (1837).
ciples of French civil law on watercourses and diffused surface waters. This
apparently is where the concept of equality of right among riparian owners,
modified by the rule of reasonable use, was introduced into American and
English law. It seems also to have been the time of adopting the concept
of the right of the upper landowner to have his drainage waters flow unob-
structed onto lower land.
In adopting the riparian doctrine in 1837 the South Carolina Supreme
Court rejected Blackstone and the concept of prior occupancy. Its deci-
sion was summarized by quoting Kent approvingly and at length. Even
though Kent introduced the idea of reasonable use, he left the waters above
reasonable riparian needs locked up in common enjoyment by all riparian
owners to meet their natural flow rights. This decision and ones that fol-
lowed through the years led South Carolina into a legal position that has
become less tenable with every new use and every increase in demand for
In 1845 the Supreme Court first considered whether a use was reason-
able.14 When the complaining party did not claim or prove damage, the
court denied that the backing up of water on the complainant's land was
In 1885 the court held irrigation of riparian lands was a reasonable use
so long as necessary to his needs.15 The court added that he must return
water to the creek for use by others. Full implication of this case was ob-
scured by several other issues which affected the final decision.
In 1887 the Court held that damage from an unreasonable use must be
the natural and proximate rather than the remote and consequential cause.1e
Lands were flooded and waterlogged by sand accumulating in the channel
and reservoir above a dam. The Court held that the sand accumulation
was the proximate cause, not cultivation of fields above. The .Court also
held that the riparian right included the unobstructed flow of sand in the
water as well as the water. If actually complied with, this rule would be
important in the Piedmont where obstructions are bound to cause sand ac-
Then followed a series of cases in the late 1800's and early 1900's.17
Generally they show that under existing South Carolina law the natural
stream flow cannot be greatly altered by storage or detention to make great-
er use of water, except by special authorization. The Court also has held
that the question of "what is reasonable use?" is a question of fact for the
jury, whose decision is final.18
14 Garrett v. McKie, 1 Rich. 444, 446, 44 Am. Dec. 263 (1845).
1s C. E. Busby, The Beneficial Use of Water in South Carolina (Spartanburg: S. C. Soil
Conservation Committee, 1952), p. 22. (See especially footnote 42).
16 Hines v. Jarrett, 26 S. C. 480, 488, 489, 2 S. E. 383 (1887).
17 Busby, the Beneficial Use ., pp. 22-23.
Ix Ibid., p. 24.
It is only with the overdevelopment of a stream or other water supply or
its curtailment by drouth that we realize how outmoded and inequitable our
water law has become. It is outmoded in that it recognizes only "domestic
uses" of 150 years ago. It is inequitable both to riparian owners and to
the people of South Carolina as a whole. As each riparian owner who in
the past may not have used his water takes even his small share, he reduces
the amount for all riparian owners in common. Thus, a riparian owner
who early has invested in equipment to use water sees his investment re-
duced in value as his equipment operates at less and less of its capacity.
As an owner in common he has a valuable right; as an individual owner
he has a right that decreases in value as it is used in common.
The state as a whole also loses. Under present laws there is little that
can be done to prevent a needless amount of our water wealth flowing un-
used into the ocean. Under modern conditions the riparian doctrine im-
poses a second injustice on the people of South Carolina. Under strict in-
terpretation the riparian doctrine gives use of water only to those owning
land bordering the watercourse. Others in the state can use the water only
by grant of the riparian owner, by legislative grant or by prescription-ad-
verse use for the time required by law to convert the use into a right. The
people of South Carolina as a whole are restricted in their enjoyment of an
important resource even though the state holds final title to it.
WHY A NEW LAW?
A doctrine which restricts use of water is tolerable when there is an
abundance of water. This abundance serves to postpone a realization of
the hardship such a doctrine works. In the western states water has not
been abundant. Therefore, it is not surprising to find there a different de-
velopment in water law. Their experience may help solve South Caro-
The Indians in the West had worked out a system of beneficial use, di-
verting streams for irrigation with no regard to riparian rights. Spanish and
Mexican administrations strengthened this system. Custom and necessity
continued this concept of water-use when the United States acquired this
territory. California miners hit upon the custom of agreeing to file claims
to water and gold on something of a first-come, first-served basis. As
states were formed from the territory, some adopted the common law and
riparian doctrine. The history of most of the states shows that, where the
two concepts have existed jointly in state law, the prior appropriation con-
cept gradually wins out over the riparian.
The Experience of Other States
This was the experience in Oregon. In the early 1900's the Oregon Su-
preme Court interpreted earlier acts to permit appropriation upon the public
domain of surplus waters, subject to established rights, thereby canceling
the riparian doctrine except for domestic uses.19 In 1909 the Oregon
"Water Code" limited vested riparian rights to actual application of water
to beneficial use, cutting off any future uses under the riparian doctrine.
The experience in Kansas was even more recent and more abrupt. Kansas
courts had allowed some modification of strict riparian principles. But the
principle of riparian rights was upheld as late as 1944 against an appro-
priator trying to acquire water rights under the statutory procedure.20 In
1945 the legislature adopted a new appropriation statute.21 The new act
strengthened the appropriation doctrine and reduced the advantage of lands
touching streams. It was upheld by the Kansas Supreme Court in 1949.22
"If Kansas and Oregon, two states originally classed as riparian states,
one on the sea-coast, the other an inland state, can make this adjustment
it would seem that South Carolina can do likewise. In fact the limited
law presently on the books should make the change over easier in this
In his report to the State Soil Conservation Committee Mr. Busby sum-
marized very well the present position of South Carolina:
"The problem of providing adequate supplies of water and land for
all needs in this State presents the same general type of situation that
has occurred throughout the western 17 states in one form or another. The
only real difference is one of degree. The principles are essentially the
same though the factual situations differ. Wherever water shortages arise,
greater definiteness and dependability of water rights and water supplies
to satisfy those rights must be provided.
"When water was plentiful for all and uses did not materially reduce the
total supply, the old riparian doctrine was adequate. But in the very
complex economy of today, riparian law has been found by hard and costly
experience to be inadequate in certain respects. It is essential to the con-
tinued development and expansion of agriculture, industry and municipalities
in this State that a more adequate doctrine of law be established with due
regard for the vested rights of all present water users, riparian or other-
wise. Adjustment in the basic property law of surface water rights should
precede that of groundwater rights.
". .South Carolina water users are today wondering whether or not
their investments in water development and land are secure in view of the
shortage of water occurring as a result of expansion of activities. They are
beginning to discuss these matters in groups as did the miners in California
19 Busby, The South Carolina Law Quarterly p. 126.
20 State ex rel. Peterson v. State Board of Agriculture, 158 Kans. 603, 605, 149 Pac.
(2d) 604 (1944).
21 Kans. Laws 1945, ch. 390.
22 State ex rel. Emery v. Knapp, 167 Kans. 546, 555-56, 207 Pac. (2d) 440 (1949).
23 Busby, The Beneficial Use ., p. 42.
when they developed the 'custom of the diggins'-the origin of the western
doctrine of prior appropriation. Some are also taking the second step that
occurred out West by asking county recorders to record their claims to and
intention to use definite and specific quantities of water at given places.
"The doctrine of appropriation has been adopted in every state of the
West in order to encourage development and to protect investments depend-
ent upon water supplies. This experience has been thoroughly tested in
the courts, in the administrative agencies, and in the cooperative activities
of water users. It is not a perfect or utopian solution. But it may be wise
to take full advantage of it."24
WHAT THE NEW LAW PROPOSES
The general welfare of our state requires that our water resources be put
to beneficial use to the fullest extent. Water must not be wasted; it must be
conserved in the interest of all the people. With this philosophy in mind,
the Water Policy Committee with the cooperation of Gen. L. G. Merritt,
director of the Legislative Council of the General Assembly, drafted a bill
to be presented to the 1954 session of the General Assembly. In this bill
we have tried to incorporate the best thing of people from public and pri-
vate agencies involved in the use of land and surface water in our state.
The new bill guarantees existing vested rights to surface water that is
being used for beneficial purposes; it provides for an orderly, legal way for
additional uses to develop. The bill proposes that after January 1, 1955
a person's rights to appropriate or use surface water shall be in compliance
with the provisions of this act.
No person shall take water from a stream, lake or other watercourse with-
out having a valid right to do so. Violators are subject to fine or imprison-
ment, or both, at the discretion of the court. Exempted are those who
build ponds on their own land to collect surface drainage from such lands,
or whose lands contain a pond or lake with no natural outlet. They have
absolute ownership in such water.
Persons must apply for the right to use surface water in watercourses or
to dam it for use, with the exceptions mentioned just above. The use of
surface water shall be subject to the principle of beneficial use. The act
defines beneficial use as "that which is for some useful industry or to sup-
ply a well recognized want." Future appropriation of water for different
purposes shall take precedence in the following order: domestic, municipal,
irrigation, industrial, recreational, water power uses.
The bill authorizes the Governor to appoint with the consent of the Sen-
ate a Board of Water Commissioners of the State of South Carolina to ad-
minister the water policy. This Board shall consist of seven members to
24 Ibid., pp. 49-50.
serve seven-year terms an a staggered basis. One member is to be appointed
from each Congressional district and one from the state at large. The mem-
bers are to be paid at a specified rate for each day employed in the work
of the Board.
The Board in turn shall employ a water engineer and such other per-
sonnel as mnay be necessary. The Board shall regulate and control the
development, conservation, and allotment of the surface water of the state
according to the principle of beneficial use and priority of appropriation
established by this act.
The Board will have the authority to divide the state into water districts
according to needs as they arise. Persons using water of any district shall
contribute toward the operating costs of the district. The Board must file
its orders with the clerk of court in the county in which the point of diver-
sion exists. The circuit court of the county in which the point of diversion
exists will hear appeals from decisions of the Board.
In administering the act, there is an important difference between a per-
mit and a license. The Board will issue permits upon approval of appli-
cation to divert water. Within 60 days after construction is completed and
water put to beneficial use, the Board will make an inspection and then
issue a license.
As soon as possible the Board shall survey the water resources of the
state. An inventory of the development and use of ground water shall be
made through cooperation with the private and public users concerned. The
Board shall seek a solution to the ground water problems as they affect the
development and use of surface waters and land. The Board shall report
the results of this study to the General Assembly as soon as practicable.
BENEFITS OF THE NEW LAW
What will adoption of such a law mean to South Carolina? The Com-
mittee believes the principal benefits will be two:
1. Orderly and legal development of water and land resources with great-
er security of investment in such development;
2. Better and more complete use of our abundant water supply.
With the authority granted under the proposed law, the Water Control
Board can establish a priority of rights to the water in any stream or lake.
A new user then will know the maximum amount of water he can take
under normal supply conditions. In the event of reduced stream flow he
knows in advance how many users have earlier claims to the available sup-
ply. He is aware of his risk before he makes his investment. Such a sys-
tem should lead to the development of every surface water resource to its
Such a system should also promote land development. No longer will
a user have to own riparian lands to acquire water. A site better suited
for a particular use can be developed without regard for its immediate
proximity to water. Through judicious allotment of water rights the Water
Board can promote this development.
Adoption of this bill should mean less waste of the state's water resources.
The supplying of a useful industry or a well recognized want now becomes
the yardstick for allotment of water. No longer must use of water be lim-
ited by the right of every downstream user to have the same amount and
quality of water flow by his land. Now, subject to the judgment of the
Water Board, a person may obtain as much water as he needs without re-
gard for what is left for others downstream. In this manner the Water
Board can prevent millions of gallons of water flowing unused to the ocean-
millions of gallons that belonged to riparian owners in common but usable
in quantities divided so finely as to be worthless. By careful planning the
Water Board can permit withdrawals of water down the length of the water-
course so that no unnecessary amounts of water flow unused into the ocean.
This type of planning coupled with anti-pollution and other quality controls
also will encourage the return of water to streams and rivers for repeated
use the length of the watercourse. With such a law South Carolina will
have a water law that recognizes the needs of the times. Is not the history
of our legislative process one of adapting the law to fit the needs of all the
people while protecting individual rights?
With such a law South Carolina will marshal its forces for a concerted
study and management of its water resources. The technical staff possible
on a state level can assemble continually a wealth of information on our
water resources. Closely connected to the problem of surface water is that
of ground water-nature's underground reservoirs that feed our wells and
streams. It is a technical problem but one that the Water Board's staff will
be prepared to handle.
Here, then, is a suggested way to remove the legal barriers to a solution
of South Carolina's problem of growing water needs in the face of unused
water. A doctrine, antiquated by a changing economy, will yield to one
based on a realistic approach to present and future water-use. Adminis-
trative machinery, subject to judicial review and recognizing existing -
vidal n gs, an geared to the task of putting one state's major
resources to the best use of all her citizens.
With the new law South Carolina will reinforce her program to save
soil and water. By focusing attention on water's value, the law should en-
list support for the measures designed to make more water available in
Finally, South Carolinians will be able to take pride in contributing
through their own efforts and cooperation to a greater South Carolina for
themselves and for future generations in the Palmetto State. Through her
long history South Carolina has provided able leadership for the State, region
and nation. In legislation for better use of water resources South Carolina
will again be leading the eastern states of our nation.
The Proposed Law On Water Policy
(Index to Act)
beneficial use of
State has title
to any water in
natural water body
not now being used
State can use
for full use
and protection of
Act does not
remove any vested
right to water-use
(see Section 2, i)
of terms used
TO CONSERVE, PROTECT, CONTROL AND
REGULATE THE USE, DEVELOPMENT, DI-
VERSION AND APPROPRIATION OF THE
SURFACE WATERS OF THE STATE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State
of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. (a) It is hereby declared that the
general welfare requires that the water resources of
the State be put to beneficial use to the fullest ex-
tent of which they are capable, and that the waste
or unreasonable use or unreasonable method of
use of water be prevented, and that the conservation
of such water be exercised with the view to the
reasonable and beneficial use thereof in the interest
of the people.
(b) Water occurring in any natural stream, lake
or other natural water body of the State, whether
such be perennial or intermittent, except insofar
as it has been and is being applied to useful and
beneficial purposes, is hereby declared to be public
waters and public wealth of the State and subject to
appropriation in accordance with the provisions of
this act, and the control and development and use
of water for all beneficial purposes shall be in the
State, which, in the exercise of its police powers,
shall take such measures as shall effectuate full utili-
zation and protection of the water resources of South
Carolina; provided, however, this act shall not de-
prive any person of any vested right in the use of
SECTION 2. When used in this act the follow-
ing words shall have the following respective mean-
(a) "Person" shall be construed as outlined in
Section 30-203, Code of Laws of South Carolina,
1952, and shall include any agency of the Federal
(b) "Water engineer" means the water engineer
of the Board of Water Commissioners of the Statc
of South Carolina.
(c) "Domestic uses" means the use of w-ter for
household purposes, the watering of farm livestock,
poultry, and domestic animals, and the irrigation
of home gardens and lawns.
(d) "Surface water" is that water found on the
surface of the earth, and "ground" or "subterranean
water" is that which percolates or flows beneath
the surface of the ground.
(e) "Diffused surface water" is that which in
its natural state flows vagrantly over the surface of
the ground, or stands in bogs or marshes not con-
nected with any watercourse or navigable stream
or bay, and, if from a watercourse overflowing its
banks, does not return to the course from which it
(f) "Recreational waters" are those which are
used primarily for swimming, fishing, boating, hunt-
ing, and water sports.
(g) The term "riparian land" shall mean land
lying within the watershed of a watercourse or lake,
contiguous thereto and consisting of the smallest
tract held under one title in the chain of title lead-
ing to the current owner.
(h) "Beneficial use" of water means that which
is for some useful industry or to supply a well rec-
(i) "Vested right" means the right to continue
the use of water having actually been applied to any
beneficial use at the time of the effective date of this
act, or within three years prior thereto to the extent
of the beneficial use made thereof.
"Vested right" shall include the right to take and
use water for beneficial purposes where a person
is engaged in the construction of works for the ac-
tual application of water to a beneficial use at the
time of the effective date of this act, provided such
works shall be completed and water is actually ap-
plied for such use within five years after this act be-
comes effective, with extension of not more than
two years in the discretion of the Board.
(j) "Appropriator" means and includes the per-
son who obtains a permit from the Board of Water
Commissioners authorizing him to take possession
by diversion or otherwise and use and apply an al-
lotted quantity of water for a designated beneficial
use and who makes actual use of the water for such
(k) "Appropriation" means and includes use of
a specific amount of water at a specific time and
at a specific place, authorized and allotted by the
Board for a designated beneficial purpose within the
specific limits as to quantity, time, place, and rate
of diversion and withdrawal.
Act goes in effect
January 1, 1955
Penalty for illegal
use of water:
fine of $200, or
60 days, or both
No rights gained
under act can be
Water in drainage
ponds or natural
water bodies having
no outlet belongs to
owner of land
Owner of land owns
water" on it. Channels
for drainage of this
water are not
Water rights are lost
by failure to use water
for three consecutive
years as licensed
(1) A watercourse is hereby defined to be any
natural lake, river, creek, cut or other natural body
of water or channel having definite banks and bed
with visible evidence of the occasional flow of water.
(m) The Board shall mean the Board of Water
Commissioners of South Carolina.
SECTION 3. After January 1, 1955, no right
to appropriate or use water subject to appropria-
tion shall be initiated or acquired except upon com-
pliance with the provisions of this act; and no per-
son shall take water from a stream, lake or other
watercourse without having a valid right to do so.
Any person convicted of violating the provisions
hereof shall be fined not to exceed two hundred dol-
lars, or imprisoned not to exceed sixty days, or both,
in the discretion of the court; provided, however,
nothing shall interfere with the customary use of
water for domestic purposes, and the user of water
for domestic purposes may elect to establish a right
to the use of such waters under the procedures pro-
vided in this act.
SECTION 4. No water appropriation acquired
pursuant to law shall be declared forfeited and sur-
rendered except by a court of competent jurisdic-
tion as other property rights are determined.
SECTION 5. The owner of the land has absolute
ownership in water from the surrounding lands,
which reach and collect upon his land in a basin
without an outlet, but which at times by evaporation
and percolation becomes dry; and the owner of the
land has absolute ownership in waters which reach
and become part of a permanent body of water
forming ,a natural lake or pond upon his land having
SECTION 6. The owner of the land has abso-
lute ownership in diffused water upon his property.
No channel or drainway for the purpose of draining
water referred to in this section shall be considered
SECTION 7. (a) The right of the appropriator
and his successors to the use of water shall termi-
nate when he ceases for three consecutive years or
more to use it for the specific beneficial purpose
authorized in his permit or license.
(b) The right to the use of waters appropriated
for any purposes, except as otherwise provided by
written contract between the owner of the land
and the owner of any ditch, reservoir, or other
works for the storage or conveyance of water, shall
be appurtenant to specified lands upon which the
water is used. Such right shall pass to the grantee
of the land and shall continue so long as the water
shall be beneficially used thereon, or until severance
of such right from the land by abandonment, for-
feiture, deed, or otherwise in the manner provided
(c) Where an appropriative right has been ex-
ercised in irrigating different parts of the same gen-
eral ownership, tract, or parcel of land at different
times, such right as applicable to the particular tract
or parcel shall pass to the grantee of such tract
or parcel on which such right was exercised next
preceding the time of the execution of any con-
veyance thereof, unless otherwise provided.
SECTION 8. Appropriations of surface waters
of the State shall not constitute absolute ownership
or absolute rights of use of such waters, but such
waters shall remain subject to the principle of bene-
ficial use. Where future appropriations of water
for different purposes conflict they shall take prece-
dence in the following order, namely: domestic, mu-
nicipal, irrigation, industrial, recreational and water
SECTION 9. For the administration of the water
policy established by this act there is hereby created
a Board of Water Commissioners of the State of
South Carolina, consisting of seven members who
shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with
the advice and consent of the Senate, as follows:
one from each of the six congressional districts and
one from the State at large. The terms of the mem-
bers shall be for seven years, except that the
terms of six of the seven members first appointed
shall be staggered as follows: one for one year, one
for two years, one for three years, one for four
years, one for five years, and one for six years.
SECTION 10. The Governor shall call a meet-
ing of the Board within thirty days after appoint-
ment. At such first meeting, and annually thereaf-
ter, the Board shall elect one of its members as
chairman and one as secretary. Each member of
the Board shall receive twenty-five dollars per day,
not to exceed eighteen days in any fiscal year, and
actual traveling expenses while in the performance
of the duties for which appointed, and such sums
shall be paid from the General Fund of the State.
Water rights go with
land, title can be
If different parts of a
have been irrigated,
water rights to go
with the subdivision
surface water do not
carry absolute rights.
They remain subject
to principle of
Precedence of use in
case of conflict:
Board of Water
Governor to name
the 7 members with
Term: 7 years
Allowance: $25 per
day for 18 days or
less, and travel
Board to employ
subject to approval
of Budget and
Beneficial use to be
basis, measure, limit
of right to use
Board to inventory
Board to establish
rights of riparian
Such owners having
way for beneficial
use before Jan. 1,
1955, shall have
vested right as work
Person affected to
get written notice
of Board decisions
Board shall file copy
with Clerk of Court
in county where
water is withdrawn
SECTION 11. The Board is authorized to em-
ploy a water engineer and such other personnel as
may be necessary, all of whom shall serve during
the pleasure of the Board, at such salaries as shall
be submitted annually to the State Budget and Con-
trol Board for approval and inclusion in the State
Budget. The water engineer shall act as executive
officer and advisor to the Board in all matters per-
taining to the distribution and conservation of sur-
face waters of the State as provided by this act. The
person appointed as water engineer shall be a li-
censed engineer, trained in hydraulics and hydrol-
ogy, qualified by experience, knowledge and per-
sonality to serve as required by the Board and to
represent it whenever required.
SECTION 12. The Board shall regulate and
control the development, conservation, and allot-
ment of the surface waters of the State according to
the principles of beneficial use and priority of ap-
propriation established by this act, and beneficial
use shall be the basis, the measure, and the limit of
the right to use water. The Board shall cooperate
with all persons and agencies interested in regulat-
ing, and conserving the use of water.
SECTION 13. As soon as practicable the Board
shall inventory the water resources of the State and
gather such adequate data as may be'helpful in the
administration of this act.
SECTION 14. (a) The Board shall make such
observations and measurements as will enable it to
administratively determine and establish the rights
of all riparian owners who, on the effective date of
this act, are making beneficial use of water.
Riparian owners who have initiated the construc-
tion of works prior to the effective date of this act,
incident to putting water to beneficial use, shall have
a vested right to the extent that the construction in-
dicates, and the priority of such right, as among
those in the process of construction, shall date from
the time construction was commenced.
(b) Such administrative determination of the
rights, as provided for in this section, shall be made
the subject of a written order, the original of which
shall be furnished the person concerned. Such ob-
servations and measurements as were made shall be
reduced to writing and filed, with a copy of the
order of determination certified to by the Chairman
of the Board, in the office of the Clerk of Court in
the county in which the point of diversion exists.
(c) Service of notice shall be deemed completed
upon depositing the notice in the post office, as
registered mail, addressed to the person concerned
at his last known post office address. The order
of determination of the Board shall be in full force
and effect from the date of its entry in the records
of the office of the Clerk of Court until its opera-
tion shall be stayed by an order of a court of compe-
SECTION 15. The Board shall divide the State
into water districts with reference to drainage areas
watersheds; however, no district shall be created
until a necessity therefore arises.
SECTION 16. Waterusers of any district shall
contribute such sums monthly towards defraying
expenses of the operation of the water district as
may be prescribed in rules and regulations promul-
gated by the Board. Any wateruser may protest
the rate charged by notification, via registered mail,
to the Board. Within ten days after receipt of such
protest, the Board shall hold a public hearing at
which the complaining wateruser shall be accorded
the right to counsel and to produce witnesses in
his behalf. If any individual who has not request-
ed a hearing, or after having been accorded a hear-
ing as provided herein, shall refuse or fail to pay
the sum decided by the Board as his equitable share
for cost of operation, the Board shall proceed ac-
cording to law to collect any sums due; and, if
deemed proper, shall apply in the Court of Common
Pleas of the county wherein the point of diversion
exists, for a rule to show cause why the appropria-
tion should not be cancelled. In such proceedings
the Board shall be represented by the Attorney
General or his representative.
SECTION 17. The following are hereby de-
clared to constitute unappropriated waters: (a) all
water which has never been appropriated. (b) All
water heretofore appropriated which has not been
in process, from the date of the initial act of appro-
priation, or being put, with due diligence in pro-
portion to the magnitude of the work necessary
properly to utilize it for the purpose of the appro-
priation, or which has ceased to be put to that use-
ful or beneficial purpose for which appropriated.
(c) All water appropriated pursuant to authority of
the Board which has ceased to be put to the useful
or beneficial purpose for which it was appropriated,
or which may have been appropriated and has not
been in the process of being put, from the date of
is legal notice
upon entry in
Board to create water
districts as needed
Board may assess
Board will hear
protests within 10
days after request
Board may go to
Court of Common
Pleas to cancel
water right for
(a) water not
appropriated prior to
effective date of act
but efforts to use
sufficient, or no .
longer used as
Board approved but
no longer so used,
or effort toward such
use not sufficient
(d) water that
seeps back into
use as appropriated
How to get right
to use water:
Apply to Board;
fee is $3
Board will date
received; may return
for more or correct
Such action does
not lower priority
of application if
returned in 30 days
the initial act of appropriation, to the useful or bene-
ficial purpose for which it was appropriated, with
due diligence in proportion to the magnitude of the
work necessary properly to utilize it for the purpose
of the appropriation. (d) Water which having been
appropriated or used seeps or flows back into a
stream, lake or other surface body of water.
SECTION 18. Any person intending to acquire
an appropriation right to any of the surface streams,
lakes and other watercourses of the State for bene-
ficial use, may do so only by making an application
to the Board for a permit to make such appropria-
tion, with a fee of three dollars accompanying such
application. The application shall set forth (a) the
name and post office address of the applicant; (b)
the source of water from which the appropriation
shall be made; (c) the amount of water sought in
standard units of measurement; (d) the location
of the proposed works for the diversion and use
of the water, including such maps or plats as may
be necessary for positive identification; (e) the es-
timated time for the completion of the works; (f)
the estimated time for the first actual application
of the water for the beneficial use proposed; (g)
if for irrigation use, a description of the land to be
irrigated by designating the number of irrigable
acres, and its relative location with respect to the
source of water supply; (h) if for municipal water
supply, or the supply of an adjacent area to be
served by the municipality, it shall give the present
population to be served, and the estimated future
requirements of the city, not to exceed twenty years;
said twenty years estimate of future requirements to
be based on the same rate of increase of population
as that had in the twenty year period, or such frac-
tion thereof as required, immediately preceding the
estimate, unless an unusual situation shall be shown
to the Board to exist or is foreseen which would
justify a deviation from the twenty year rule; (i)
any additional factors which may be required by
SECTION 19. (a) Upon receipt of the applica-
tion it shall be the duty of the Board to have en-
dorsed thereon the date of its receiot and assign it
a number. If upon examination the application is
found to be defective, inadequate or insufficient to
enable such official to determine the place, nature
and amount of the proposed appropriation, it shall
be returned for correction or completion or for
other required information. No application shall
lose its priority of filing on account of such defects,
provided acceptable data, proofs, maps, plats, plans,
and drawings are filed in the office of the Board
within thirty days following the date of the posting
of the return of such application or such further
time, not exceeding one year, as may be given by
(b) All maps, plats, plans and drawings shall
conform to prescribed uniform standards as to ma-
terials, size, coloring and scale as prescribed by
the Board, and shall show: (a) the source from
4 which the proposed appropriation is to be taken;
(b) all proposed dams, dikes, reservoirs, canals,
pipe lines, power houses and other structures for the
purpose of storing, conveying or using water for
the purpose approved and their positions or courses
in connection with the boundary lines and covers
of the lands which they occupy. Land listed for
S irrigation shall be shown in acres. Default in the
re-filing of any application within the time limit
specified shall constitute a forfeiture of priority date
and the dismissal of the application. All maps,
plats, plans, drawings and applications submitted
shall become the property of the Board.
SECTION 20. It shall be the duty of the Board
to approve all applications made in such form as
shall meet the requirements of this act and such
rules and regulations as shall be promulgated by
the Board, and which contemplate the utilization of
water for beneficial purposes, within reasonable lim-
itations, provided the proposed use does not prej-
udicially and unreasonably affect the public interest.
If it is determined that the proposed use of the
water sought to be appropriated is not for bene-
ficial purposes, is not within reasonable limita-
tions, or would impair vested rights, prior appro-
priations, or be detrimental to the public interest,
it shall be the duty of the Board to enter an order
rejecting such application or requiring its modifica-
SECTION 21. (a) Upon approval of the appli-
cation the Board shall notify the applicant to that
effect and issue a permit authorizing him to pro-
ceed with the construction of the proposed diver-
sion works and to take all steps required to apply the
water to the approved and proposed beneficial use,
and otherwise perfect his proposed appropriation.
An application may be approved for a less amount
of water than that requested if, in the opinion of
the Board, the approval of the full amount request-
ed would interfere with a vested right or is against
Board may set
maps, plats, etc.
Board must approve
all applications that
meet requirements of
Board and this act
use not beneficial;
not within reasonable
vested rights, prior
be detrimental to
On approval, Board
to notify applicant,
Board can approve
permit for less water
be published 10 days
Hearing of objections
to precede approval
Board to give notice
Injunctions to prevent
Board may limit time
User must notify
Board within 60 days
after he has applied
water under permit
Board to issue license
Licensee shall have
license recorded by
Clerk of Court in
water is withdrawn
and shall pay
filing fee of $1
public interest. An applicant shall be entitled to
proceed with construction of diversion works and
with the diversion and use of water in accordance
with the approval and such limitations as may be
prescribed by the Board. Provided, however, that
no application shall be approved until the substance
thereof shall have been published in a newspaper
having general circulation in the county wherein
the point of diversion exists, at least ten days before
approval of such application, and a public hearing
accorded any person whose rights may be adverse-
ly affected by such approval. At such hearing all
persons concerned will be accorded the right of
counsel and the right to introduce evidence in their
(b) If the application is refused the Board shall
so notify the applicant, and it shall be unlawful for
such applicant to take any steps toward the con-
struction of the proposed diversion works or to di-
vert or use any such water, so long as the refusal
shall continue in force. Any person who proceeds
subsequent to the effective date of this act, to con-
struct and maintain diversion works without the
approval of the Board being first obtained, may be
enjoined in any court of competent jurisdiction. The
Board shall limit the time for the perfecting of an
appropriation to a reasonable period within which
the proposed works can be completed by due dili-
gence taking into consideration the size, complexity
and cost of the work, and seasonal conditions, and
shall for good cause shown by the applicant allow an
extension of time.
SECTION 22. Within sixty days after the com-
pletion of the construction of the works and the
actual application of water to the proposed bene-
ficial use within the time allowed, the permitted shall
so notify the Board. The Board shall then examine
and inspect the appropriation diversion works and,
if it is determined that such works have been com-
pleted and the appropriation right perfected in con-
formity with the approved application and plans, the
Board shall issue a license in duplicate. The origi-
nal of such license shall be sent to the licensee and
shall be recorded in the office of the Clerk of Court
in the county wherein the point of diversion is lo-
cated as other instruments affecting real estate, and
the duplicate shall be made a matter of record in
the office of the Board. The fee for filing the li-
cense in the office of the Clerk of Court shall be
SECTION 23. Any person desiring to build
a dam or reservoir on any watercourse as herein
defined, before proceeding with the construction
S thereof, must obtain a written statement from the
Board that such construction will not affect plans
for the proper utilization of the water resources of
the state; and any individual violating the provisions
of this section may be enjoined therefrom.
SECTION 24. The Board shall have authority
to enter into compacts and agreements concerning
this State's share of waters flowing in watercourses
or in lakes or ponds where a portion of such waters
are contained within the territorial limits of a neigh-
SECTION 25. Any member of the Board or any
person authorized by it, shall have the right to en-
ter upon private, county, or state lands and waters
for the purpose of making surveys and examinations
necessary in the gathering of hydrologic facts con-
cerning streams and natural watersheds, subject to
responsibility for any damage done to property en-
SECTION 26. (a) The Board may consider, ap-
S prove, modify or reject applications for permanent
or temporary changes in the place of diversion of
use of water from those originally appropriated or
approved, subject to the rules and regulations of
the Board and following the procedure herein es-
tablished for original application for appropriation.
(b) Any person who changes or attempts to
change the point or place of diversion or use of
water, either permanently or temporarily, without
first applying to the Board in the manner prescribed,
shall obtain no right thereby and shall be guilty of
a misdemeanor, and punished therefore in the dis-
cretion of the court, not to exceed imprisonment for
sixty days or a fine in excess of two hundred dol-
lars. Each day of such unlawful change shall con-
stitute a separate offense, separately punishable.
Each application for a temporary or permanent
change shall be accompanied by a fee of one dollar.
SECTION 27. Whenever the rights for the use
of waters within the State shall have been adjudi-
cated by any court, the Board shall aid in the dis-
tribution of water in accordance with the terms of
the decree, and it shall be the duty of the clerk of
any court in which such decree has been issued,
within ten days after such decree shall have been
entered, to forward to the Board of Water Com-
Board must authorize
any dam or reservoir
Board may make
compacts on water
Right of entry
on official business
Board may act on
temporary changes in
place of water
Violators are subject
to fines of $200, or
Board shall aid in
Court to notify Board
of decrees within
Board's action may
be appealed to
Circuit Court of
county in which
withdrawal is made
to Supreme Court
Board to reply to
Circuit Court within
30 days of notice
Within 15 days of
notice of appeal
Board may offer
Appellant may accept
within 5 days
Board may issue rules
and regulations with
effect of law
Powers of Board
missioners, by registered mail, a certified copy of
SECTION 28. (a) Any order, decision or other
official act of the Board in administering the provi-
sions of this act may be appealed by any person ag-
grieved thereby to the Circuit Court of the county
wherein the point of diversion exists by serving the
Chairman or someone of discretion at the office of
the Board, within sixty days after receipt of writ-
ten notice of the order, decision or official act,
notice of appeal stating the grounds upon which
the appeal is founded. The appeal may be based
on legal or factual grounds or both. After proper
hearing, at which testimony may be offered for any
aggrieved person, the court may sustain, reverse or
modify the order of the Board which may be appeal-
ed to the Supreme Court the same as other orders
of the Circuit Court. The Attorney General, or his
representative, shall represent the Board on all ap-
peal matters. The Board shall, within thirty days
after service of the notice of appeal, make a return
to the Circuit Court, giving copies of all documents
and orders and a transcript of the testimony taken.
(b) Within fifteen days after the service of the
notice of appeal, the Board may serve upon the
appellant an offer in writing to correct the order
from which appealed in any of the particulars men-
tioned in the notice of appeal. The appellant may
thereupon, and within five days thereafter, file with
the Board a written acceptance of such offer, and
in such case the Board shall thereupon make a min-
ute of such acceptance in its permanent files and
correct the order accordingly, and the same, so cor-
rected, shall stand as the order of the Board and
shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the Cir-
SECTION 29. The Board shall have authority to
promulgate such rules and regulations as it deems
necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act, and
when Section 1-11, Code of Laws of South Caro-
lina, 1952, is complied with, shall have full force
and effect of law.
SECTION 30. At any hearing or other proceed-
ing authorized by this act, the Board shall have pow-
er to administer oaths; to take testimony; to issue
subpoenas and compel the attendance of witnesses,
which shall be served in the same manner as sub-
poenas issued by the Court of Common Pleas of
the State; and to order the taking of depositions in
the same manner as depositions are taken in the
Courts of Common Pleas.
* SECTION 31. The Board shall report to the
General Assembly annually within ten days after
the convening date of each session, fully, on its
work during the year.
SECTION 32. As soon as practicable after the
effective date of this act, the Board shall begin the
preparation of an inventory of the development and
use of ground waters through cooperation with pri-
vate and public users concerned, and through these
and other means effect a study of ground water
problems generally, with a view to their solution es-
pecially as the development and use of ground water
affects the development and use of surface waters
and land. The Board shall report the results of
the study, provided by this section, as soon as prac-
ticable to the General Assembly.
SECTION 33. If for any reason any section,
provision, item, phrase, clause, sentence, or part
of any section of this act shall be held unconstitu-
tional, the invalidity of such section, provision, item,
phrase, clause, sentence, or part of section shall not
affect the validity of the remainder of the act; but
such remainder shall be permitted to stand and the
various provisions of this act are hereby declared
to be separable for that purpose.
SECTION 34. All acts or parts of acts incon-
sistent herewith are hereby repealed.
SECTION 35. This act shall become effective
upon its approval by the Governor.
Board to report
each year to
Board to inventory
the State's ground
waters and to study
as they relate to use
of surface waters
To report on study to
Act effective upon
approval by Governor