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Focus Sheet: Water Right Relinquishment

Publication number Date Published Date Revised
98-1812-WRJuly 1998January 2013
VIEW NOW: Focus Sheet: Water Right Relinquishment (Number of pages: 4) (Publication Size: 208KB)

Acrobat PDF format (Number of pages: 6) (Publication Size: 225KB)
Note: Spanish Translation

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Author(s) Smith, P.
Description Washington’s water law includes a principle that a water right is perfected, defined, and
maintained through beneficial use. The expression "use it or lose it" is sometimes applied
to describe this western water law principle. Put simply, a water right may be wholly or
partially lost through extended periods of non-use. The return of unused water to the
state is called relinquishment. The purpose of relinquishment is to ensure that
Washington's limited water sources are put to maximum beneficial use for all of
Washington's citizens.
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Keywords land owner, relinquishment, right, Water Rights, law, Focus sheet, water, water right, land development
WEB PAGE Water Resources Program
WATERSHED Water Resource Inventory Areas
(WRIA 37,WRIA 39)