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In the present Volume, the Authors have endeavoured to give a comprehensive view of the whole law relating to Water.
The considerable changes which have been made by the Legislature of late years in the various branches of the law bearing upon the subject, the further changes which appear to be in immediate contemplation, and the fact that recent and important decisions of the highest Court of the kingdom have finally settled many points hitherto considered doubtful, have appeared to the Authors a sufficient justification of the task which they have undertaken.
No general Text-book on the subject has appeared in England for more than twenty years. The Second Edition of Woolrych on Waters was published in 1851, and Mr. Phears' Treatise on the Rights of Water in 1859. Mr. Woolrych's work, though exceedingly useful at the time it was written, has necessarily become of little value as a book of reference; it, moreover, contains no notice of the laws regulating the navigation and conservancy of the inland waters of the kingdom. Mr. Phears' Treatise, and Mr. Gale's standard work on Easements, are restricted to the consideration of those natural and acquired rights to the use of Water which are considered in Chapters III. and IV. of the present Work. Mr. Angell's great works on “ Watercourses (1869)” and “ Tidal Rivers (1849),” though of the highest value to legal students, are naturally devoted for the most part to American law, which on many important points differs materially from our own.
Notably The Territorial Waters Act, 1878;" “ The Rivers Pollution Act, 1875;" “ The Fresh Water Fisheries Act, 1878;and “The Canal Boats Act, 1877.”
2 “The Rivers Conservancy Bill,” which passed the House of Lords last Session, 1879; “The Thames Sewerage Bill;" and " The London Water Companies Purchase Bill.”'
The Authors have thought it necessary to treat shortly of the Sea and Navigation thereon, though aware that such a wide field trenches on the domain of International Law; for all details of this subject they have referred to the standard works on International Law and the Law of Merchant Shipping. They have avoided, as far as possible, the consideration of the Acts relating to Public Health and Sewers, feeling that such a subject hardly comes within the scope of a general work on Water.
Few suggestions or criticisms have been made on the existing state of the law, and the Authors have confined themselves, as far as possible, to the decisions of the Courts as expressed in the words of learned Judges. They hope that this attempt to unite in one volume the various branches of the Law of Waters may be of some use to the profession, at least as a book of Reference.
H. J. W. C.
1, BRICK COURT, TEMPLE,
PLAN OF THE WORK.
OF THE SEA AND RIGHTS THEREIN
The High Seas
Ownership of the Soil and Rights connected therewith
Public and Private Rights thereon
12 14 24 33 42
THEREOF, AND OTHER MATTERS
51 58 92 98 102
OF NATURAL Rights. OF WATER, AND THEREIN OF THE
1044201 Riparian Rights generally
104 The Right to Water in its natural Quantity, and Injuries thereto.
115 By Abstraction and Diversion
115 By Obstruction and Overflow
128 The Right to Water in its natural Quality, and Injuries thereto by Pollution
150 Surface and Percolating Water