That liquid substance of which the sea, the rivers, and creeks are composed. 2. A pool of water, or a stream or water course, is considered as part of the land, hence a pool of twenty acres, would pass by the grant of twenty acres of land, without mentioning the water.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
As designating a commodity or a subject of ownership, this term has the same meaning in law as in common speech; but in another sense, and especially in the plural, it may designate a body of water, such as a river, a lake, or an ocean, or an aggregate of such bodies of water, as in the phrases “foreign waters,” “waters of the United States,” and the like . Water is neither land nor tenement nor susceptible of absolute ownership. It is a movable thing and must of necessity continue common by the law of nature. It admits only of a transient usufructuary property, and if it escapes for a moment the right to it is gone forever, the qualified owner having no legal power of reclamation. It is not capable of being sued for by the name of “water, nor by a calculation of its cubical or superficial measure; but the suit must be brought for the land which lies at the bottom covered with water. As water is not land, neither is it a tenement, because it is not of a permanent nature, nor the subject of absolute property. It is not in any possible sense real estate, and hence is not embraced in a covenant of general warranty. Mitchell v. Warner, 5 Conn. 518. Coast waters. See COAST. Foreign waters. Those belonging to another nation or country or subject to another jurisdiction, as distinguished from “domestic” waters. The Pilot, 50 Fed. 437, 1 C. C. A. 523. Inland waters. See INLAND. Navigable waters. See NAVIGABLE. Percolating waters. Those which pass through the ground beneath the surface of the earth without any definite channel, and do not form a part of the body or flow, surface or subterranean, of any water-course. They may be either rain waters which are slowly infiltrating through the soil or waters seeping through the banks or the bed of a stream, and which have so far left the bed and the other waters as to have lost their character as a part of the flow of that stream. Private waters. Non-navigable streams, or bodies of water not open to the resort and use of the general public, but entire-ly owned and controlled by one or more in-dividuals. Public waters. Such as are adapted for the purposes of navigation, or those to which the general public have a right of access, as distinguished from artificial lakes, ponds, and other bodies of water privately owned, or similar natura] bodies of water owned exclusively by one or more persons. Subterranean waters. Waters which lie wholly’beneath the surface of the ground, and which either ooze and seep through the sub surface strata without pursuing any defined course or channel, (percolating waters,) or flow in a permanent and regular but invisible course, or lie under the earth in a more or less immovable body, as a subterranean lake. Surface waters. As distinguished from the waters of a natural stream, lake, or pond, surface waters are such as diffuse themselves over the surface of the ground, following no defined course or channel, and not gathering into or forming any more definite body of water than a mere hog or marsh. They generally originate in rains and melting snows, but the flood waters of a river may also be considered as surface waters if they become separated from the main current or leave it never to return, and spread out over lower ground. Tide waters. See TIDE. Water-bailiff . The title of an officer, in port towns in England, appointed for the searching of ships. Also of an officer belonging to the dry of London, who had the supervising and search of the fish brought thither. Cowell. Water-bay-ley. In American law. An officer mentioned in the colony laws of New Plymouth, (A. D. 1671,) whose duty was to collect dues to the colony for fish taken in their waters. Probably another form of water-bailiff. Burrill. Water-course. See that title infra. Water-gage. A sea-wall or bank to restrain the current and overflowing of the water; also an instrument to measure water. Cowell. Waters-gang. A Saxon word for a trench or course to carry a stream of water, such as are commonly made to drain water out of marshes. Co-well. Water-gavel. In old records. A gavel or rent paid for fishing in or other benefit received from some river or water. Cowell; Blount. Water-mark. See that title infra. Water-measure. In old statutes. A measure greater than Winchester measure by about three gallons in the bushel. Cowell Water-ordeal. In Saxon and old English law. The ordeal or trial by water. The hot-water ordeal was performed by plunging the bare arm up to the elbow in boiling water, and escaping unhurt thereby. 4 Bl. Comm. 343. The cold-water ordeal was performed by casting the person suspected into a river or pond of cold water, when, if he floated therein, without any action of swimming it was deemed an evidence of his guilt; but, if he sunk, he was acquitted. Id. Water-power. The water-power to which a riparian owner is entitled consists of the fall in the stream, when in its natural state, as it passes through his land, or along the boundary of it; or, in other words, it consists of the difference of level between the surface where the stream first touches his land, and the surface where it leaves it. Water Right. A legal right, in the nature of a corporeal hereditament, to use the water of a natural stream or water furnished through a ditch or canal, for general or specific purposes, such as irrigation, mining, power, or domestic use, either to its full capacity or to a measured extent or during a defined portion of the time. Waterscape. An aqueduct or passage for water. Waters of the United States. All waters within the United States which are navigable for the purposes of commerce, or whose navigation successfully aids commerce, are included in this term.