Q&As

Who owns the underground water, where the water is not flowing through pipes (ie is not a water supply, drainage or sewage system)? Is it an owner of the property or the water company?

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Published on LexisPSL on 03/06/2019

The following Environment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Who owns the underground water, where the water is not flowing through pipes (ie is not a water supply, drainage or sewage system)? Is it an owner of the property or the water company?

Who owns the underground water, where the water is not flowing through pipes (ie is not a water supply, drainage or sewage system)? Is it an owner of the property or the water company?

Commentary: Rights in flowing water at common law: Halsbury's Laws of England [110] states:

‘Although certain rights as regards flowing water are incident to the ownership of riparian property, the water itself, whether flowing in a known and defined channel or percolating through the soil, is not, at common law, the subject of property or capable of being granted to anybody. Flowing water is only of public right in the sense that it is public or common to all who have a right of access to it.’

Water which has been appropriated or taken into possession from a known and defined channel is the subject of property, the right of property existing only during such possession, as is also percolating water which has been appropriated, even by artificial means such as pumping. (See Commentary: Appropriated water:

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