A water right provides permission and an obligation to beneficially irrigate a specific area, generally measured in acres. A water right remains valid as long as an irrigator beneficially uses the water at least one year out of every five years. Converting land to another use (road, parking area or building) can result in the forfeiture of a water right.
“Beneficial use” is the use of irrigation water to produce crops, grass or landscape areas. The use of irrigation water on land not cleared, seeded or under cultivation is not beneficial use.