Appraisal Articles 2019 Free Appraisal Articles for Appraisers and the Public
Once you leave the city and get away from the main, municipal and County water service providers you find out just how valuable water is. If you have a property that is 40 acres in size but you have no water rights or water service you usually have a single home site. You may have zoning that will allow 20 or 40 homes on it but if you can’t provide them all with water you can’t develop the property for all of those homesteads. Water rights are even more important to properties with commercial or industrial zoning, because those properties can never be used for their zoned or planned use without a legal water source. So, you may have an absolutely perfect site with high traffic, visibility and accessibility but if you don’t have the water you can’t develop the property.
Per my last water rights article I noted that one (1) acre foot (AF) of water is equivalent to about 325,851 gallons and 1 AF per year is approximately enough water to support 1 home with up to 5 people. While the water that you need for your latest project may be in the ground beneath your feet, if you don’t have the rights to take it you just can’t start to remove the water for your use. Appraisers are beginning to see the sale of more vacant land parcel without any water rights associated with them. The water rights have either been sold and are no longer associated with a parcel or there was no home site or farm with rights at the subject location in the past and the current rules may not allow a homestead a water right without the owner purchasing it in the open market. In the past, new homesteads were always allowed 1 or more acre feet to support a new home. That “free” homestead water rights is gone in some locations.