Pueblo Water Rights
“What water rights legal framework did California carry over from its Mexican colonial days?”
Before the United States invaded and annexed California, the territory was under Mexican settler-colonial domain. When California was thrust into the U.S, the Pueblo Water Rights system was carried over. This entitles cities to the right to use all necessary naturally occurring surface and subsurface water from the whole of the watershed of a stream that goes through the pueblo (settler cities set up by the Spanish and Mexican governments). The geography extends to modern-day borders of cities and towns. This system only applies to towns and cities that were founded as pueblos before California became a U.S state and exists in tandem with riparian water rights and appropriative water rights.