RAPID/Roadmap/19 (2)

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Bulk Transmission Water Access and Water Rights Overview (19)

A bulk transmission developer should consider the project’ water access and water right needs. Water access and water rights are predominantly governed by state law. A developer may require water for dust suppression for roads and construction activities.


Depending on the situation and demands of a project a developer may seek water from a lease-holder, a municipality, or a permanent water right. Water rights are typically divided into groundwater rights and surface water rights.

In the western United States, surface water rights are most often governed by a system of prior appropriation, which allocates rights by priority based on the date of application to a beneficial use; first in time, first in right. While in the eastern United States, surface water rights are governed by a system of riparian rights, which allocates rights based on property ownership adjacent to a body of water.



Water Access and Water Rights Overview Process

19.1 to 19.3 – Will the Project Require Access to Water?

The developer should consider the project’s water access and water right needs. If the project requires the use of or access to water, the developer should contact the appropriate state or local entity with jurisdiction to determine what approvals or water rights that may be required.

Currently, the RAPID Toolkit does not have specific content regarding state water access and water rights regulation for transmission development.