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Doctrine of prior appropriation:
     The two cardinal principles of this doctrine are that beneficial use of water, not land ownership, gives the basis of the right to use water and that priority of use, not equality of right, is the basis of the division of water between appropriators when there is not enough for all. ...Today all the western states have adopted statutes codifying these rules." (Chow, 1964). "Appropriative water rights have a priority based on the date of first usage. In times of shortage, junior appropriators are cut off while senior appropriators receive their full allotment." (Sophocleous, 1998) This doctrine is not a part of Illinois water law.

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