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Letter from E. E. Bennett (Los Angeles) to F. H. Knickerbocker (Los Angeles), August 5, 1935







By virtue of having used it for decades, the Las Vegas Land and Water Company acquired the right to the water it used on the Las Vegas Ranch, independent of any deed.

Digital ID


Physical Identifier

Box 75 Folder 174-2 Vol. I Law Department UPRR Water Supply-Las Vegas


hln001073. Union Pacific Railroad Collection, 1828-1995. MS-00397. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Los Angeles, Aug. 5, 1935. Mr. F. H. Knickerbocker: Referring to your letter of August 1, 1935, (your File 9215-3-W) regarding the water situation at Las Vegas: I have talked the matter over with Mr. L. T. Jackson and I understand from him that the land covered by deed Audit No. 828 is the ranch property, and that the sources of the water involved are none of them on the ranch but are on land still owned by the Railroad Company. At the time the deed was made a considerable portion of the flow had been used in connection with irrigating the ranch. In my opinion Deed Audit NO. 828 therefore passed to LVL&W Co the right to obtain from the springs the amount of water which had been customarily used for irrigating the ranch. In addition to this, the LVL&W continued to use the overflow from the springs and later from the well, and thus obtained a prescriptive right to use that much water- independent of any deed. When the well was drilled on the railroad property the flowage from that well was filed on so that its total flow, namely, 10.12 second feet, was divided 2.5 second feet to the Railroad Company, 2.3 second feet to LVL&W for supplying the city of Las Vegas, and 5.32 second feet for irrigating the ranch. I understand that none of the water used for irrigating the ranch is paid for by LVL&W, nor would this be necessary in view of the prescriptive use for that purpose of the overflow from the springs and the filing for that purpose upon a portion of the flow of the well. Therefore, only the 2.3 second feet forming part of the flow of the well which LVL&W passes on to the city of Las Vegas, is involved in the question brought up in your letter. Under the Nevada law these 2.3 second feet are technically the property of the Railroad Company, but since the filing by LVL&W entitles it to the unrestricted flow of that water to it, the LVL&w is really the beneficial owner thereof. As I understand it, no payment is made by the LVL&W to the Railroad Company for the water itself and the charge made is simply for the use of railroad owned facilities for conveying the water. Therefore, I do not really see that the question of who owns the water is involved in the accounting matters brought out in the correspondence. I believe the foregoing will answer the questions you have in mind; if it does not, please call upon me further. I enclose herewith the correspondence attached to your letter. MD-H E. E. BENNETT Encls. cc?Mr.Conrad