Title: Interrelationships Among Natural Water Sources
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00003170/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interrelationships Among Natural Water Sources
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: The Conservation Foundation
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Richard Hamann's Collection - Interrelationships Among Natural Water Sources
General Note: Box 12, Folder 11 ( Conservation Foundation - Symposium Papers on Water Allocation in Eastern U. S. - 1956 ), Item 23
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00003170
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

Interrelationsh ps Among' natural Water Sources

It is well known to scientists that there are interrelationships among

the different natural water sources, including streams and groundwaters. In

North Carolina as well as several other States, however, different legal

principles have been applied to different types of water sources. We will at

this point consider the extent to which rights in a particular source of

water may extend to other natural sources of water which may be physically

related to it.

;i -. In Rouse v. City of Kinston (1924), discussed earlier under Groundwaters,

the Supreme Court approved the lower Court's ruling to the effect that the

American rule of reasonable use applies to artesian and other percolating

groundwaters, and that this rule does not permit the withdrawal of such waters

for distribution or sale, for uses not connected with any beneficial owner-

ship or enjoyment of the land from which they are taken, if it thereby follows

that the owner of adjacent land has his "wells, springs or streams" there-

by materially diminished in.flow. VJ1/ There apparently was no evidence in the

case that any springs or 'streams were diminished in flow by reason of the

withdrawal of underground artesian waters. But the Court thus implied that

there might be liability for such interference, perhaps with respect to sur-

face as well as underground streams. 52/ This rule might well apply to cutting

off or reducing. the flow of:a spring which arises on adjoining or perhaps more
distant lands. But the extent to which each riparian owner along a surface

)i/ Rouse v. City of.Kinston, 188 N.C. 1, 123 S.E. 482, 493 (1924).
/ The Court, on pp. 490-i91, of 123 S.E. 482, quoted a California case
which in turn cited a New York case to the effect that even though "there
'was no visible stream or pond" on one's land and "his injury was merely that
the 3evel of the water held in the soil was'lowered," 'he could recover
damages for the withdrawal of percolating ground waters and use by a distant
city. This would appear to imply that there would be liability for there-
by diminishing the flow of a surface watercourse.

179 -
watercourse or overlying a definite underground stream might be able to sue
for such diminution of its' flow may be more problematical.
In any event, under the rule of reasonable use there apparently would
ordinarily be no liability for such interference if the percolating waters
withdrawn are used solely for beneficial uses on one's overlying lands (al-
though criteria for determining such lands have not been clearly defined).

"The extent to which such interference might result in liability under the
correlative rights doctrine,'which might possibly be applied to such use,

particularly as to the withdrawal of waters in an artesian basin, is problem-
atical.. (See Groundwaters, ante.)
Certain questions regarding the interrelationships between definite
Underground streams and percolating grunidwaters or other water sources
have been already discussed, under Definite Underground Streams, ante,
Some cases involving the question of liability for pollution have tended 4
indicate that there might be liability for polluting other sources of water
physically related to the source into which the pollution is discharged. (See
Pollution, ante.) In one case the Court held it was proper to enjoin the
discharge of sewage into a dry ditch along which it naturally ran into a small
Stream which ran "by a spring" on the complainant's lando. The use of the

stream and spring had to be abandoned. The spring apparently emerged from
groundwaters nearby, although it may have emptied into the small stream

and presumably was polluted above ground* i3./

/ Rhyne v. Flint Mfg. Co., 182 N.c. i489, 109 S.E. 376 (192x).
In another case liability was imposed for draining off waters in a swamp
which thereby diminished the* flow of water to a mill located on a stream
which led from it., It was argued that the waters drained.off were "surface
Sweaters" for which noi liability should result. The Court didn't clearly
decide this question but- it appears 'to have regarded the waters drained off
as, being part of the natural water~ ai e which' led from the swamp. (See
Flood Waters,' and ,Surface Waters, an t~) 'Williamson v. Locks Creek Canal Co.
78 N.C. 156 (1878)j other decisions in 76 N.C. 478 and 84 N.C. 629.

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