We’ve all heard the “never trust a ________” sayings. Never trust a skinny chef, a man in alligator boots, a man with two first names, a fart, etc. Today, I’d like to add one to the list.

Never trust a water right!

And, when I say this, I am referring specifically to paper water rights. The foundation of water values and market opportunities is the validity of the water right. Unfortunately, most water right paper abstracts recorded are incorrect. In fact, 22 of the last 23 water right claims I’ve reviewed – in three different western states (Nevada, Colorado, Montana)- have been inaccurate.

The moral to the story is this: The complexity of water makes due diligence a necessity if you intend to capture market of underlying water rights.