Water and Irrigation

Use of precious waters, particularly in the American West, is governed mostly by the law of prior appropriation. Morgan, Angel & Associates is especially qualified to conduct historical analysis with respect to prior appropriative - or riparian - rights to a body of water, whether the water is used for general purposes or for specific applications such as irrigation, mining, and power. Morgan Angel can answer questions regarding:
  • Navigability;
  • Historically irrigated acreage;
  • Practically irrigable acreage standard;
  • Federal liability;
  • State adjudication (i.e., the McCarran Amendment);
  • Federal reclamation law;
  • Beneficial use; and
  • Authorized purposes of water projects.

Morgan Angel also is poised to research matters involving reserved water rights, particularly those associated with the Winters Doctrine and Indian reservations, whether the water be appurtenant or groundwater, and whether the lands be tribal, allotted, or reacquired.

In addition, over the past three decades, Morgan Angel has been involved in recording the development of irrigation conveyance systems in the West. With offices in Washington, D.C. and Denver, CO, Morgan Angel understands the importance of western irrigation from the creation of a diversion ditch to the creation of diversion large dam structures. Morgan Angel’s knowledge extends to the federal, state and tribal policies associated with water issues.


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