Legal Regulation Of Private Law Aspects Of Water Use By Owners And Users Of Neighboring Land

  • I.V. Myronenko
Keywords: neighbour relations, good neighbourliness, neighbour law, neighbourly water use, water use relations.


The article is devoted to some questions of the legal legal regulation of neighborhood relations related to the use of water to meet the needs of owners and users of neighboring land. The regulation of this relationship has historically been an inseparable part of neighbour law. Regulations of this kind were contained in many historically significant Ukrainian legal documents (in particular, various editions of the Lithuanian Statutes, the Rights of the Little Russian People (1743), and others). Currently, the regulation of the use of water resources mainly comes under the sphere of public law. Consequently, the current Land Code of Ukraine does not contain regulations of this kind. Nevertheless, a study of international legislation and regulation policies on neighbourly relations emphasizes the necessity to legislate on the private aspects of neighbourly water use. In particular, such provisions include the laws of the Republic of Moldova, Georgia, Republic of Azerbaijan and some other post-soviet states. The findings of the study has made it possible to formulate the proposals aimed at improving the current legislation on this issue. They are based on a general rule forbidding to alter the natural movement (flow) of water, if it violates the rights and legitimate interests of owners or land users of neighboring land. The artificial movement (flow) of water, caused by the activity of land owners or land users, is proposed to regulate by contract by establishing land easements (discharge of water to a neighboring land plot, their redistribution between neighbors, etc.).

Regulating water-related relationships to meet the needs of owners or land users of neighboring land has historically been an integral part of «neighborhood law». Nowadays, the legal regulation of the relationship regarding the use of water resources has shifted to the sphere of public legal regulation. Nevertheless, the study of the laws of foreign countries and the practice of regulating good neighborly relations indicate the need for legal regulation of private aspects of neighborhood water use. They are mainly related to the prohibition of altering the natural movement of water if it violates the rights and legitimate interests of owners and owners of neighboring properties.