What Exactly Does That Mean???
Some of our natural resources are so essential to life - and so necessary to ALL members of the public-that they are held "in trust" by the state- to preserve, protect, and sustain for this generation and generations to come. So what does that mean for water???
We don't individually OWN the water; instead, we get to USE it. Even though MDC officials in the Hartford area have been heard to say it's "their water", THEY DON'T OWN IT. They have been given money (from taxpayers and local, state, and federal government) to maintain storage, distribution, and treatment facilities for water use. They deliver water to customers and collect wastewater, and are compensated for their costs. Some of them are non-profit or municipalities; others are privately held companies, whose shareholders may realize a profit from the business.
Of note, our individual rights to USE the water are not absolute, but rather subject to the considerations of the public good. Think of it like a bank trust. The principle (money=our water) is in trust for the public both for now and the future. We get to use it (have trust monies distributed to use=use the water), but don't OWN the trust. The state (the trustee) makes sure the trust principle is wisely appropriated.....and if the trust principle is in danger because of misuse (endangering the supply, availability or purity of the water), then the state (and its public) have the right to address that. This doesn't mean there aren't laws governing how we use water (DPH or DEEP or state statutes) or that you can seize your neighbor's well. In this case, the trust has all the money it will ever get, i.e. there won't be more fresh water created on earth!
Save Our Water CT
Citizen advocates acting to protect and conserve Connecticut's public trust waters.