The Verde Valley has a rich history of agriculture that continues to this day. Farms and ranches of various sizes dot the landscape. Some who own property in the Verde Valley keep animals, tend gardens or farms, and irrigate lush lawns and large trees. But landowners and potential landowners—especially those looking at irrigated properties—should be aware of some basic laws regarding water rights. Just because a property does irrigate may not mean it has the legal right to do so or that the use will be recognized in the future. For many reasons, there remains uncertainty about the use of surface water from creeks and rivers and even well water on properties throughout Arizona. By understanding some of the basic laws around surface water, you should be able to better evaluate risks and uncertainties associated with a particular water use.
The Verde Natural Resource Conservation District has published two brochures to help you understand water rights and how to research your rights. We hope you find these resources helpful.
Evaluating Surface Water Right Filings in the Verde Valley, Arizona
A landowner’s guide to understanding surface water documentation