Riparian Rights Surveys

Riparian rights, also known as littoral rights or riparian water rights, is a system of allocating water when multiple landowners possess land around the source of the water. With origins in English common law, Riparian rights exist in many states within the United States, particularly in the eastern half of the country.

The general principle of riparian water rights holds that all landowners with property adjacent to a body of water (such as a lake or river) have the right to make reasonable use of this water. This not only includes water up to the boundaries of a submerged property line, but also additional rights to water beyond the property line. If the amount of water is not enough to satisfy all landowners, allotments of the water are usually made in proportion to the amount of land directly abutting the water's source, or the shoreline.