Date of this Version
Southern Region Water Program Report to the Water Policy and Economics Team August 2012
In most states surface waters, (streams, lakes, and coastal waters) are owned by the public. On the other hand, ground water may be privately or publicly owned. Because all waters are linked through the hydrologic cycle, and the hydrologic cycle is not confined within any geographic or political boundary, the question of ownership is generally replaced by one of who has the right to manage, divert, use, or sell the water.