The Florida Bar

Water Law

December 15, 2022

Water law in the United States deals with the ownership, use, and protection of water as a natural resource.

Some common issues all jurisdictions deal with include:

  • Public regulation of waters and water bodies, including flood control, environmental regulation, and public health.
  • The dichotomy between public and private rights in water, which include elements of eminent domain and the federal commerce clause. An example of this is whether a property owner who owns land surrounding a river upstream, could build a dam and negatively interfere with the water rights of those downstream.
  • The management and finance of public and quasi-public entities which operate local public works projects.
  • Treat rights for Native Americans and other groups.

Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or substitute for the advice of a lawyer.