RH2 Engineering became a member of the Western Water Market (WWM), a service that connects people who are looking to manage, protect, or trade water rights. Kristina Ribellia, the Founder and President of WWM, interviewed Andy Dunn, one of RH2’s hydrogeologists and water rights expert, in a podcast episode titled, “Top 10 Things to Know Before Buying Property with Water Rights.” Andy shared wisdom and cautions about how to avoid common pitfalls when looking at a property with water rights.
“My ultimate goal with appearing on this podcast is to help people not need to hire someone like me,” says Andy, despite being fully qualified to walk property owners through any stage of their water rights journey. Andy is a Licensed Hydrogeologist, Licensed Geologist, and a Certified Water Rights Examiner for RH2, and he has more than twenty years of experience under his belt. He assists RH2 clients with water rights analyses, water right processing, reclaimed water permitting, water supply planning and development, aquifer testing and analysis, water system planning, technical document review and critique, and hydrologic/hydrogeologic testing and field measurements.
While Andy shared ten things to know, he emphasized that the first tip of looking at the entire water right record for a water right was the “Universal, number one, always do whenever you’re considering water rights or a property with water rights or looking at your own water rights.”
“Without doing that [looking at the water right record], it becomes much more likely that you will trip and fall into these other pitfalls, because you don’t know then, “What is the place of use for this water right?,” or “Where is the point of withdrawal?,” “Is this well that is on my property that I think is mine, is that actually serving a different property?”
Andy also warns that buyers should, “Trust, but verify,” and he walks through the different documents that are available publicly via the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Search—documents ranging from the beginning of the water right with a Progress Sheet through the issuance of a Certificate that documents the actual beneficial use of water.
The podcast episode is worth a listen for anyone who is hoping to learn more or who is affected by properties with water rights. To learn more, click on the link above to go to the WWM podcast page, which includes a list of the ten things to know along with time stamps for each point.