Oil on board, 6" x 6" $125.00 + $6.00 shipping in US.
This is the "dry side" of Oregon, but still there is so much more water than in the southwest, where we lived for years.
When we first bought acreage in Oregon many years ago, I was thrilled to find the land had water rights dating back to 1886. The older the right, the more valid is an owner's claim to irrigation water.
Usually, there's plenty of water to go around and the local ditch district meetings are boring affairs that you can't drag people to. But when a dry year comes along, the meetings are standing room only, and neighborly conversations over water sharing sometimes get pretty heated. That's when I discovered that many other landowners had water rights going back as far as 1861, and my 1886 right put me a long way down in the pecking order.
Those Oregon Trail pioneers were no fools. Apparently, the first thing they did when they arrived was jump off the wagon and file water rights!