Water Right Adjudications
General Adjudication Process
Utah, like other western states, is conducting general adjudications of all of the water rights within several major drainages. These proceedings, which are complex and lengthy legal actions, are being conducted for several reasons. First, these adjudications are an effort to recognize, quantify, and prioritize water rights that, in some cases, extend back into the 1800's. Second, these adjudications will result in a centralized record of the water rights that are recognized as valid, and will eliminate water rights or parts of water rights that — for whatever reason — the law does not recognize or no longer acknowledges as valid.
General adjudications are complex legal proceedings that affect valuable property rights. Like any lawsuit involving important legal issues, it is usually to your advantage to consult with a qualified attorney early in the process. Even if you decide not to retain a lawyer, early consultation with an attorney will help you in making that decision. You may wish to talk to other individuals participating in an objection proceeding to see if your interests and positions are the same. If they are, you may wish to join together to assert a common position or retain a lawyer. You may learn that major parties have competing positions and that some of the major parties, although not representing you, may support your position on a specific issue. You should also be mindful that these objection proceedings must be conducted in accordance with the Utah Rules of Evidence and Rules of Civil Procedure, and that the State Engineer is a party in each objection proceeding and will be represented by lawyers in the Office of the Utah Attorney General. Please also know that although you have the right to represent yourself in an objection proceeding, unless you are authorized to practice law in the courts of the State of Utah, you will not be permitted to represent or appear for any other person, including family members, or a corporation, company, or trust that you own or control.
Information for the Water Rights Adjudications pages provided and maintained by Rick L. Knuth, Special Master.