Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Stream Definition:

A watercourse having banks and channel through which waters flow, at least periodically.

Related Terms: Watercourse, River, Lake

In State v. Bonelli Cattle Company, Justice Struckmeyer of the Supreme Court of Arizona wrote:

"A stream is a watercourse having banks and channel through which waters flow, at least periodically."

The Supreme Court of California used these words in Mogle v Moore:

"A stream is a watercourse having a source and terminus, banks and channel, through which waters flow, at least periodically. Streams usually empty into other streams, lakes, or the ocean, but a stream does not lose its character as a watercourse even though it may break up and disappear. Streams are usually formed by surface waters gathering together in one channel and flowing therein. The waters then lose their character as surface waters and become stream waters. As we have observed, a continuous flow of water is not necessary to constitute a stream and its waters stream waters....

"... a stream in the real sense, with a definite channel with bed and banks, within which it flows at those times when the streams of the region habitually flow...."

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