While digging through 100′s of Idaho water rights files this morning, I came across a water right that made me take a step back and ponder. I’m still pondering, but wanted to share what I found. I found a water right with the following purposes of use:
1. Irrigation – no surprise here.
2. Aesthetic- what?
3. Aesthetic Storage – no way, really?
This is AWESOME!
I’ve never ever seen “aesthetics“ recognized as a beneficial use of water before. Never ever. As previously discussed, ”use” captures the single most import word in western water rights’ and allowing natural beauty to become a valid beneficial use is big. This excites me. Water is complex and markets are complex. The more valid beneficial uses we can recognize the better the water market can meet growing demands.
Of course these uses must be quantifiable and transferable, but that is a regulatory discussion for another day.