Kent Decree on Salt River Valley water law turns 100
The East Valley Tribune tells the story of the Kent Decree, issued by Judge Edward H. Kent of the District Court of the Territory of Arizona, on March 1, 1910. Reporter Ed Taylor makes the case that this decision resolved numerous legal issues and set the stage for allocation of water rights in the Salt River Valley.
This landmark decision "affirmed the doctrine that the first people to use water beneficially on the land had the priority rights to that water. And it set the stage for the federal government to finance construction of Theodore Roosevelt Dam [right, credit SRP] and reservoir northeast of Mesa" that was critical to the economic development of the region.