The owner of any dam or other water impoundment structure constructed prior to January
1, 1969, the capacity of which is not in excess of 10 acre-feet on January 1, 1975,
and concerning which water rights litigation between private parties was not a matter
of record prior to January 1, 1974, is declared to have a valid water right for the use of the water for purposes as specified in Section 1226, if that person files a claim of water right with the board not later than December
31, 1997. All permits or licenses issued by the board prior to the effective date of this
article shall have priority over any water right claimed pursuant to this article.
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