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HARVARD

LAW REVIEW.

Vol. II. DECEMBER 15, 1888. No. 5.

THE WATUPPA POND CASES.

MOST of the New England rivers which furnish valuable water- power are fed at some point in their course by large ponds. Many of the smaller streams draw practically their whole supply from such sources. These ponds, owing to the purity of their water and their favorable location, are also peculiarly available for supplying cities and towns with water for domestic and other uses. Of the two hundred and twenty-two acts passed in Massachusetts prior to i886, authorizing municipalities or other corporations to take water for the supply of cities or towns, many granted the right to take water from these large ponds. This diverson of the water for the purpose of supplying cities or towns reduces, of course, the flow in the ponds and the outlet streams, and in every such act a provision was inserted to secure compen- sation to persons injured by so taking the water, as in all other cases of the taking of property by right of eminent domain. The chief claims for damages made under these statutes have been on behalf of the owners of the water-power on the outlet streams.

In 1 87 1 the Massachusetts Legislature authorized the city of Fall River to take from North Watuppa Pond, for domestic and other uses, fifteen hundred thousand gallons of water daily. North and South Watuppa Ponds are connected by a narrow passageway, and form together a body of water of some thirty-three hundred