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Special provisions of Agricultural Department Appropriation Act for
CONFIRMATION OF WESTERN WATER RIGHTS
Sec. 2339, R. S. [Vested rights to use of water-Right of way for canals—Liability for injury.]
–Whenever, by priority of possession, rights to the use of water for mining, agricultural, manufacturing, or other purposes have vested and accrued, and the same are recognized and acknowledged by the local customs, laws, and the decisions of courts, the possessors and owners of such vested rights shall be maintained and protected in the same; and the right of way for the construction of ditches and canals for the purposes herein specified is acknowledged and confirmed; but whenever any person in the construction of any ditch or canal injures or damages the possession of any settler on the public domain the party committing such injury or damage shall be liable to the party injured for such injury or damage.
Textual note. This section and section 2340, Revised Statutes, quoted below, are consolidated and codified as section 661, title 43, United States Code.
The foregoing section of the United States Revised Statutes is taken from "An act granting the right of way to ditch and canal owners over public lands, and for other purposes," approved July 26, 1866 (ch. 262, 14 Stat. 251).
The very large number of decisions under this and the following section regarding the doctrine of prior appropriation of the use of public water, not being directly connected with the general operations of the Bureau of Reclamation, references thereto are omitted for the sake of brevity.
Sec. 2340, R. S. [Patents, preemptions, and homesteads subject to vested and accrued water rights. ]--All patents granted or preemptions or homesteads allowed shall be subject to any vested and accrued water rights, or rights to ditches and reservoirs used in connection with such water rights, as may have been acquired under or recognized by the preceding section.
Textual note. This section and section 2339, Revised Statutes, quoted above, are consolidated and codified as section 661, title 43, United States Code.
The foregoing section of the United States Revised Statutes is taken from "An act to amend 'An act granting the right of way to ditch and canal owners over the public lands, and for other purposes,'” approved July 9, 1870 (ch. 235 16 Stat. 217).