The issue of updating ownership of water rights of use continues to rear its ugly head in the context of water right forfeiture proceedings. I can’t stress enough how important it is in Nevada to update ownership records with the Nevada Division of Water Resources. Currently, NRS 533.384 requires buyer to file ownership update information with the State Engineer.
Thus, when buying property, it is not enough to record your deed with the county, you must also update the records for water rights of use with the Nevada Division of Water Resources by filing a report of conveyance and abstract of title (these are specific forms with instructions available on the NDWR website). If there is a title issue that might take you some time or assistance to sort out, then file a Request for Correspondence (another form) with NDWR so you at least receive some kind of notice as to matters relating to your water rights. Don’t miss these important notices putting your water rights of use in jeopardy by failing to update ownership records!
Some title issues that come up in Reports of Conveyance and Abstracts of Title include deeds that inadvertently do not transfer all the property, deeds that have different names or entities thus causing additional supporting research to show they are one-in-the-same, having to research title back to the original water right holder, and having to sift through probate documents to show a transfer in ownership, to name a few. Regardless of the issue that needs resolving, now is the time to diligently check your rights of use and ensure you are in compliance with NRS 533.384.