2020 Georgia Code
Title 44 - Property
Chapter 8 - Water Rights

Cross references.

- Control of water pollution and surface water use generally, ยง 12-5-20 et seq.

Law reviews.

- For article, "Riparian Rights in Georgia," see 18 Ga. B.J. 401 (1956). For article surveying Georgia cases in the area of real property from June 1977 through May 1978, see 30 Mercer L. Rev. 167 (1978). For comment, "The Right to Rainwater: An Unlikely Fairy Tale," see 69 Mercer L. Rev. 575 (2018).


Georgia's law of riparian rights is a natural flow theory modified by reasonable use provision. Pyle v. Gilbert, 245 Ga. 403, 265 S.E.2d 584 (1980), overruled on other grounds, Tunison v. Harper, 286 Ga. 687, 690 S.E.2d 819 (2010).

Cited in Hicks v. Seaboard Coast Line R.R., 123 Ga. App. 95, 179 S.E.2d 532 (1970).


For discussion of fishing and public passage rights on non-tidal rivers of the state, see 1985 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U85-8.


Unreasonable Alteration of Surface Drainage, 6 POF2d 301.

Interference with Use of Senior Well - Withdrawal from Common Aquifer, 8 POF2d 515.

Citizens' Suits under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 67 POF3d 95.

Proof of Accretion or Avulsion in Title and Boundary Disputes over Additions to Riparian Land, 73 POF3d 167.


- Right of property owner to repel or remove flood water from building, 4 A.L.R. 1104.

Right to follow accretions across division line previously submerged by action of water, 8 A.L.R. 640; 41 A.L.R. 395.

Right to hasten the flow and increase the volume of water in a stream by alterations or improvements in the bed, 9 A.L.R. 1211.

Transfer of riparian right to use water to nonriparian land, 14 A.L.R. 330; 54 A.L.R. 1411.

Duty to refrain from improving or using one's property in anticipation of flooding of the property by another's wrong, 19 A.L.R. 423; 38 A.L.R. 90; 48 A.L.R. 479; 56 A.L.R. 207; 62 A.L.R. 738.

Right of grantor of railroad right of way or his privy to recover damages for interference with surface water by construction of road, 19 A.L.R. 487; 67 A.L.R. 1511.

Respective rights of insured and beneficiary in endowment, accumulation, and tontine policies, 19 A.L.R. 654; 72 A.L.R.2d 1311.

Right of riparian owner to embank against flood or overflow water from stream, 22 A.L.R. 956; 53 A.L.R. 1180; 23 A.L.R.2d 750.

Title to beds of natural lakes or ponds, 23 A.L.R. 757; 112 A.L.R. 1108.

Liability of owner of flowage rights for draining off water to the damage of property overflowed, 29 A.L.R. 1325.

Periodical, seasonal, or intermittent stream as a watercourse, 40 A.L.R. 839.

Precipitation of rainwater or snow from a building upon adjoining premises, 48 A.L.R. 1248.

Prescriptive right of lower as against upper owner to flow of stream, 53 A.L.R. 201.

Rights, privileges, or easements of public, its grantees or licensees, on land bordering on navigable water, 53 A.L.R. 1191.

Subterranean and percolating waters, springs, wells, 55 A.L.R. 1385; 109 A.L.R. 395.

Constitutionality of statutes affecting riparian rights, 56 A.L.R. 277.

Duty of lower land to receive surface water diverted to upper land by artificial conditions outside of both tracts, 72 A.L.R. 344.

Right to injunction to protect water rights as affected by fact that party seeking injunction contemplates no immediate use of rights, or by doctrine of comparative injury, 106 A.L.R. 687.

Appropriation of water as creating right, as against subsequent appropriator, to continue method or means of diversion, 121 A.L.R. 1044.

Assignability and divisibility of easement in gross or license in respect of land or water, 130 A.L.R. 1253.

Waters: rights in respect of changes by accretion or reliction due to artificial conditions, 134 A.L.R. 467.

Rights and duties of owners inter se with respect to upkeep and repair of water easement, 169 A.L.R. 1147.

Liability, as regards surface waters, for raising surface level of land, 12 A.L.R.2d 1338.

Rights of fishing, boating, bathing, or the like in inland lakes, 57 A.L.R.2d 569.

Easements: way by necessity where property is accessible by navigable water, 9 A.L.R.3d 600.

Res ipsa loquitur as applicable in actions for damage to property by the overflow or escape of water, 91 A.L.R.3d 186.

Extinguishment by prescription of natural servitude for drainage of surface waters, 42 A.L.R.4th 462.

Liability for diversion of surface water by raising surface level of land, 88 A.L.R.4th 891.

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