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The Township, Range and Section description should describe land according to the following system based on the common subdivision of public lands into townships, ranges and sections. The well number usually locates land or a well to the nearest 10 acres.
In the state of New Mexico, for example, the number consists of four parts from left to right and divided by periods. The first part is the township number north or south of the New Mexico base line; the second is the range east or west of the New Mexico principal Meridian; the third part denotes the section within the township or range and, the fourth part of the number usually contains three or more digits and denotes the 160-, 40-, and 10- acre tract in which the well is situated. For this purpose, a section is divided into four quarter sections numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4 which represent the northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast quarter sections. Quarter quarter sections are divided in the same manner as are quarter sections. Where more accurate survey locations are available, a well may be more accurately numbered and located.
Other states may use a variation on this scheme. Arizona, for example, replaces the numbers following the section number with the letters a, b, c, and d arranged in a clockwise manner.
Where no adequate system of land division exists, areas of land and other pertinent information can be obtained by surveyors using GPS methods.
A metes and bounds description is commonly provided where a precise boundary description is needed. A metes and bounds description begins at an established point and describes the boundaries of land parcels by the direction and distance of the boundaries from point to point on the boundary beginning at the established point until the entire boundary has been described and the description returns to the point of the beginning of the description. The metes and bounds description must be tied to a described section corner or quadrant corner.
Water rights are generally sold in terms of acre feet of water consumptively used. If agricultural water rights are sold, the total amount of water available for sale is generally the size of the land parcel times the consumptive use recognized by governmental authorities for the specific parcel of land.
Water is used for many purposes. A part of the water used returns to the hydrological system where it can be re-used. The remainder is removed from the hydrological system and cannot be re-used. For example, of the water applied to an irrigated crop, some is taken up in plant tissue and some water is transpired by the plants and some of the applied water evaporates directly from the ground surface. This water is effectively removed from further use by man and is called consumptive use water. Applied water that percolates beyond the root zone of plants and returns to the ground-water system or water which may flow off of irrigated fields and back into rivers is not consumed and is available for re-use by the next downstream user. Because of interstate and transboundary stream compacts and the necessity of maintaining deliveries of water to downstream states and political jurisdictions, transfers based on the consumptive use are the rule.
It is, therefore, only the consumptive use of water appurtenant to a use that is saleable. The measure of the amount of water that is saleable is not based on the amount of water delivered to a field or industrial use but only to the amount actually consumed.
Within each of these groups, there will be more specific uses. For example: