have involved questions regarding the -use of percolating groundwaters or a
surface or undezround stream. The nature of the spring and the location of
. ..its use were not clearly indicated in either case.- Mu together the two
cases suggest that water rights pass with the conLveyance of title to lfnd
riparian. to a stream, or lands overlying groundwater, unless it is otherwisee
provided in the deed or some other controlling legil instiie nt'e 'Some' further
support for this proposition coAles from the above-discussed cases concerning
'rights to navigable waters, ;
Rights to use natural 'watercourses or groundwaters, as a rule, would
a appear to be limited to use on particular parcels of tl&id. This may not
be so, however, in oases where municipalities or other public or quasi-
public agencies or institutions hve validly acquired water rights through
condemnation, or otherwise* (See Municipal or Public Water Supply, Vendibi-
Other dontractual Arrangements
Rights to use particular iburces of Water in some instances may depend
largely Lpohn or be affected bi8 variolis' kinds 6f voluntary contractual
arrangements. .fThis may be particularly true with respect to artificial
watercourses or developed waters, discussed earlier. :
The Court in one case stated that riparian landowners alone a stream might
contract together to have one point of' withdrawal and system of distribution
serve their collective needs for domestic purposes 61/
/_.,Cases in which contractual arrangements with respect to the use of such
waters were involved include Richardson v. Jennings, 184 N.C. 559, 11U S.E.
821 (1922), where ithe owe~ r of an .Artificial lake sold riparian lots with
permission to boat, .fish, and swim in it
See also Lamb v. Lamb, 177 N.C. 150, 98 S.E. 307 (1919) where a drainage
system was established by agreement for the benefit of two lots.
46l/ Pernell v. City of Henderson, 220 N.C. 79, 16 S.E. 2d. 449, 450-451
But the effectiveness of contractual arrangements to use water on nonriparian
lands is in doubt, as noted above, under Transfer or Assignment of Water
Other types of contractual agreements which have been dealt with by the
Court include contracts with respect to water supply furnished by orto munici-
In no reported decision does the Court appear to have dealt with such
contractual arrangements as (1) a contract between two or more riparian
owners along a watercourse to rotate their use of the available water in
periods of shortage or otherwise, or (2) a contract between two or more
riparian owners relative to the detention and/or diversion and offstream
storage of a stream's water during periods of high flow for later use during
periods of low flow.
Legal remedies against the infringement of a person's water rights by
another person may include an action for money damages and/or an injunction;
to prevent further infringement.
In general, the Court has imposed liability for damages in cases of
material diminution of stream flow or other uses considered to be unreasonable,
direct invasion of another's property, negligent conduct, or certain other
types of unlawful use. 463/
62/ Fulghum v. Town of Selma, 238 N.C, 100, 76 S.E. 2d. 368 (1953); V
Elizabeth City Water and Power Co. v. Elizabeth City, 188 N.C. 278, 124 S.E.
611 (1924). See Halifax Paper Co, v. Sanitary District, 232 N.C. 421, 61 S.E.
2d. 378 (1950), discussed under Sanitary Districts, ante, concerning a
Contract for water supply from a sanitary district. See also Roanoke Rapids
Power Co. v. Roanoke Navigation and Power Co., 159 N.C. 393, 75 S.E. 29 (1912;
concerning an arbitration agreement between the two companies regarding
Their water rights.
463/ See particularly the cases discussed under Development of the Riparian
Doctrine, and Detention or Obstruction of Water with Dams, etc., ante.
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