I have water rights to a field stone well on my neighbor's property. My neighbor bulldozed the well, without telling me, in order to get the water in the well to flow into his pond. (The well is in the woods - which is why I did not see it being destroyed. Also I don't actually use water from that well as I have a driven well that supplies my needs.)
My neighbor since died. Does the new owner of the property have a legal obligation to restore the well to the condition it was in before the previous owner bulldozed it? Thank you.
1 Answer from Attorneys
This will depend on the language in your deed. It sounds like you have water rights, and can require those be provided. This may not mean that the well is restored to what it previously was, but that you have access to the same amount of water as previously.
You could lose the water rights if don't do anything now that you know the well was bulldozed. At the least you should contact the new owner and let them know you are not abandoning your water rights.
If you don't really need the water and are willing to release the rights, you could ask the neighbor to compensate you to release those water rights.