Correlative rights doctrine

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The correlative rights doctrine is a legal doctrine limiting the rights of landowners to a common source of groundwater (such as an aquifer) to a reasonable share, typically based on the amount of land owned by each on the surface above. This doctrine is also applied to oil and gas in some U.S. states.

Under California law, the owners of overlying land own the subsurface water as tenants in common, and each is allowed a reasonable amount for his/her own use.

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