Kentucky's present system of water law consists of a statutory water withdrawal permit system superimposed upon a body of common-law water rights doctrine. The rights of water users are often uncertain under this system, particularly in periods of water shortage. The proposed revision of Kentucky's existing water rights legislation, would greatly reduce the significance of common-law water rights and would remedy some of the weaknesses in the present statute.
Part 1 of the proposed statute establishes an administrative structure; Part 2 deals with water withdrawal permits; Part 3 retains the present statute's provisions on the regulation of dams and impoundments, while Part 4 sets forth the powers and responsibilities of the Kentucky Water Resources Authority. Finally, Part 5, which deals with the regulation of water wells is included as an appendix.
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The work on which this report is based was supported in part by funds provided by the Office of Water Research and Technology, United States Department of the Interior, as authorized under the Water Resources Research Act of 1964.
Ausness, Richard, "A Proposed Revision of Kentucky's Water Rights Legislation" (1978). KWRRI Research Reports. 88.