The need for water in this state was destined to play a vital part in the development of the law of water rights. While west of the Cascade Range there was relatively little or no shortage of available water, east of the Cascades the problem was serious. In many parts water was scarce and much capital required to make it available for use. Where, however, water was available in artesian basins, streams or rivers, conflicts arose among competing users. Regrettable as those conflicts were, they did, however, cause the legislature and courts to regulate and pass upon claims made. In so doing, the law of water rights was surely and necessarily developed.
Riparian and Appropriation Rights to the Use of Water in Washington,
7 Wash. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol7/iss1/1