KWRRI Research Reports


In 1966 Kentucky enacted a water use regulation statute which makes :important modifications in the common law doctrine of riparian rights by authorizing the state to grant permits for the use of water. The permit system is primarily designed to allow the state to gather the information necessary to conduct long range planning studies. However, the permit system can also be used to apportion water among competing users. The report examined the common law of riparian rights to determine how KRS Ch. 151 had modified it and analyzed some of the legal problems which could arise in the administration of the statute. The standards for granting or denying a permit were examined in light of the purpose of Chapter 151. Important common law modifications such as the abolition of the watershed limitation were considered. The procedural rights of applicants and third parties effected by the issuance of a permit were criticized because they do not provide an adequate hearing and notice procedure. The constitutional questions raised by the failure of the Chapter expressly to protect prior vested rights were considered. The report concludes with an examination of some emerging problems caused by the increased use of the state's water for recreation.

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Funding Information

The work upon which this report is based was supported in part by funds provided by the United States Department of the Interior, Office of Water Resources Research, as authorized under the Water Resources Research Act of 1964.