Ownership and Water Use Correspondent Updates
The Division of Water Resources is caretaker of a large water resources database of approximately 31,600 active files and 16,250 dismissed files. Routine maintenance of this database consists of updating address changes, ownership changes, and all other ownership matters. This office completes more than 3,000 such updates each year.
A water right is a real property right appurtenant to and severable from the land on which water was used. The water right transfers with the title of the land unless expressly withheld.
It is the owner(s) responsibility to notify the Division of these changes.
When property involving a water right changes hands, it is the responsibility of the new water right owner to notify this office of the change in ownership. Updates and/or corrections to land ownership must be submitted to this office in the form of a copy of a recorded deed or other instrument transferring title of the land. The deed is most explicit in naming actual owners of the property in question. For further information regarding changes in ownership, please call 785-296-3717.
Contract purchase agreements do not qualify as ownership changes because the deed will not change hands until the terms of the contract have been fulfilled. This can be a period of anywhere between three and 30 years. Because of this extended period, the division will continue to show the "contract seller" as owner until the contract has been completed and a new deed is recorded. However, contract purchasers are encouraged to record their interest in the subject property and water right by submitting a copy of the purchase agreement. This will ensure both parties are involved with any correspondence regarding the property.
Water Use Correspondents
Property owners may also wish to designate another person to be the water use correspondent for a particular water right. Please see the water use correspondent designation form (pdf) below, which must be used to inform this office of a water use correspondent change. The form must be completed, signed, notarized and mailed to our office. Don't forget to include the appropriate file number(s) at the top of the form. The water use correspondent will be the only person to receive the annual water use report, but the law indicates the owner still is ultimately responsible for the water use report to be filed in a timely manner.
1-207-2 Water use correspondent designation form
When submitting documents to this office, indicate the water right file number(s) on the top of the documents. New owners or interest holders also must submit complete current address information, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses (if applicable). Anything else that may be pertinent to the transaction which is involved in the water right(s) should also be included.