Back Water Law and Legal Definition

Back Water refers to a body of water that is created by a flood or tide or by being detained or checked in its course or forced back by a dam. It could also be a body of stagnant water that is connected to a river.

Every riparian owner is entitled to the benefit of the water in its natural state. If an owner of a land impedes or dams water in such a manner as to back it on his or her neighbor above, s/he is liable for the consequences. No one has the right to alter the level of the water, either where it enters, or where it leaves property.