Procedures Used for Determining Water Rights on the Caribbean National Forest

by William F. Hansen,
Loren Huffakre,
George Dissmeyer,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Watershed Planning and Analysis in Action


In response to increasing demand, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico enacted legislation requiring current users of water to file existing water uses. Application for water rights on the Caribbean National Forest (NF) was necessary to respond to these requirements in 1985. The procedures used to determine the water rights had to fit into the relatively short time frame involved (less than 3 months) and were to protect the important resources and activities dependent upon water on the Caribbean National Forest. Much of the real concern was related to how to estimate the non-consumptive uses of water on the Forest. Uses identified for protection were recreation, aquatic ecosystems, and research. Equipment used included pigmy current meter with top setting wading rod and necessary stream gaging supplies and a programmable calculator. Other materials used in the process of water right documentation included U.S. Geologic Survey records, land status and acquisition records and copies of pertinent Federal and Commonwealth legislation. Procedures, assumptions and calculations used in the studies are discussed.

Subject Headings: Water resources | Water rights | Forests | Materials processing | Land surveys | Water use | Frames | Legislation | Puerto Rico | United States | Caribbean

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