Big Cottonwood Tanner Ditch Co. v. Moyle

In Big Cottonwood Tanner Ditch Co. v. Moyle (1946) 109 Utah 213 174 P.2d 148, the court emphasized the historically arid conditions existing in Utah and explained, "The common law of Utah presumes that during the time of the creation of this easement all parties concerned knowing the arid nature of this country, contemplated that at some future time the owner of the water would . . . undertake to prevent waste as the need arose for more efficient use of the limited water available." ( Id. at p. 231.) Accordingly the Utah court determined, "Plaintiff's easement includes the right to cement the ditches in the interests of water conservation . . . ." ( Id. at p. 233.) The court specifically distinguished the California case of Allen v. San Jose Land & Water Co, 92 Cal. 138, noting: "Those cases decided in states where the need for water conservation does not exist or exists only to a limited degree are not controlling here as the common law of these states in reference to easements to course irrigation water is different from that of this state." ( Id. at p. 235.)