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Ohio Constitution [ The 1851 Constitution with Amendments to 2015 ]

I.19b Property rights in ground water, lakes, and other watercourses

(A) The protection of the rights of Ohio's property owners, the protection of Ohio's natural resources, and the maintenance of the stability of Ohio's economy require the recognition and protection of property interests in ground water, lakes, and watercourses.

(B) The preservation of private property interests recognized under divisions (C) and (D) of this section shall be held inviolate, but subservient to the public welfare as provided in Section 19 of Article I of the Constitution.

(C) A property owner has a property interest in the reasonable use of the ground water underlying the property owner's land.

(D) An owner of riparian land has a property interest in the reasonable use of the water in a lake or watercourse located on or flowing through the owner's riparian land.

(E) Ground water underlying privately owned land and nonnavigable waters located on or flowing through privately owned land shall not be held in trust by any governmental body. The state, and a political subdivision to the extent authorized by state law, may provide for the regulation of such waters. An owner of land voluntarily may convey to a governmental body the owner's property interest held in the ground water underlying the land or nonnavigable waters located on or flowing through the land.

(F) Nothing in this section affects the application of the public trust doctrine as it applies to Lake Erie or the navigable waters of the state.

(G) Nothing in Section 1e of Article II, Section 36 of Article II, Article VIII, Section 1 of Article X, Section 3 of Article XVIII, or Section 7 of Article XVIII of the Constitution shall impair or limit the rights established in this section.

(SJR 8; Adopted 11-4-08, effective 12-1-08)

 
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