Unlike the Riparian doctrine, the Prior Appropriations doctrine bases water rights on when water use began.

The Prior Appropriations Doctrine

Prior Appropriations Doctrine, a system that protects water from misuse and bases it on its origins, is an example of a water right. This system of water rights is based on the principle that “first in time is first in right” (“Prior Appropriation,” n.d.). The principle of “first in time is first in right” (“Prior Appropriation”) means that the person who uses a water supply has the right to use it again, regardless of whether another user takes over. Contrary to the Riparian Doctrine that assigns water rights on the basis of ownership of land, Prior Appropriations Doctrine takes land ownership out. Prior Appropriations Doctrine refers to a system that protects water rights in western United States. It was created by the Vendsen (2018). The doctrine determines the right of water users in these regions. This doctrine determines the person’s right to water based on the date they began using the water, not the owner of the land. The Prior Appropriations Doctrine also allows water rights to be granted based only on how much water was taken and not the land that is owned.

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