Water Securities: Rights to Use, Used as Collateral
25 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2013 Last revised: 9 May 2014
Date Written: June 23, 2013
If water markets were really as simple and beneficial as most academics suggest, then the West would be overrun with them. That it isn’t so illustrates how even really good ideas, proposed by very talented minds, often stagger and lurch towards acceptance and implementation.
This Comment looks at the water-rights market and suggests that some deficiencies result from the unique manner in which the law treats water rights. Utah, for instance, considers water rights as a form of real property. Yet abandonment and forfeiture annihilate water rights completely while other forms of real property cannot be destroyed at all. This disconnect, between two forms of property that are functionally different but legally similar, adds abstraction and uncertainty to the marketplace, which in turn impedes further development of the marketplace itself.
Keywords: water rights, forfeiture, real property, abandonment, water markets, water rights markets
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