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Definition for

Appropriation date

An appropriation date is the earliest date approved by the water court demonstrating that a water rights holder intends to put water to beneficial use. The appropriation date places a water right in chronological order among other water rights, with those older being senior to it and those younger characterized as junior. In times of shortage, the oldest rights have first priority, with remaining water allocated in chronological order until there is no more water available for use. The older a water right's appropriation date, the greater its value due to the likelihood it will have water in times of short supply.

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