A domestic water “right” affords many uses of the water that can be made absent a statutory permit. One such use is for the construction of a pond. There are requirements, however, including that the pond must be less than half of an acre, be part of the landscaping, and be within 300 feet of a house. A certain quantity of water can also be added to the pond for firefighting purposes as quantified on an annual basis.
A domestic water use can also be applied to household purposes. “Household purposes” are also broadly defined by regulation. This is defined as “cooking, cleaning, washing, bathing, human consumption, rest room facilities, fire protection, and other uses normally associated with the operation of a household.” As indicated, this allows for an expansive range of possibilities for a domestic use of water.
Kansas law also allows a domestic use to be pumped for the “watering of livestock, poultry, farm and domestic animals used in operating a farm.” This is indeed an amorphous standard that is subject to interpretation, and thus some flexibility. One can likely be creative in the use of water for these purposes.
A domestic use can also be diverted for “a total of two acres in area for the growing of gardens, orchards and lawns.” Thus, one can grow limited specialized crops with only a domestic water right. Many individuals have utilized this language to grow produce for farmer’s markets or other profitable purposes.
With the above in mind, many uses of water can be made without even acquiring a water right. Before seeking a water right, one must carefully evaluate if a domestic use of water will be adequate for the desired purposes.