Definition of littoral land


What is littoral land?

Littoral land refers to a piece of land that borders a stagnant or stagnant body of water, such as a lake, ocean, or sea. This classification differs from riparian land, which borders a flowing source of water, such as a river or stream.

Key takeaways

  • Littoral land refers to a piece of land that borders a stagnant or stagnant body of water, such as a lake, ocean, or sea.
  • This classification differs from riparian land, which borders a flowing source of water, such as a river or stream.
  • Littoral land is colloquially called “beachfront” or “lakefront” property, while riparian land has earned the nickname of “riverfront” property.
  • This land is often bought by developers and business owners for the purpose of building trendy homes, hotels, or other tourist attractions.
  • Littoral rights are the claim of an owner on the use of the body of water that borders his property, as well as the use of his coastal area.

Understanding the littoral land

Littoral land is a term used to refer to land that is next to a grouped body of water. Littoral land includes land that is located next to a lake, ocean, or sea. The term contrasts with riparian land, which is any land located next to waterways that flow like a river or stream.

Littoral land is colloquially called “beachfront” or “lakefront” property, while riparian land has earned the nickname of “riverfront” property. Both types of land are usually quite expensive, mainly due to their proximity to water, although littoral land might be a bit more desirable. This land is often bought by developers and business owners for the purpose of building trendy homes, hotels, or other tourist attractions.

Landowners with littoral rights have unrestricted access to water, but own the land only up to the mean water mark.

Special Considerations

Coastal rights and riparian rights

People may be familiar with the term coastal rights, which is used when talking about water rights. Like littoral land, littoral rights pertain to the water rights of lakes and oceans. Water rights do not always correspond to ownership of land, but sometimes real estate ownership includes rights to adjacent bodies of water. Littoral rights are the claim of an owner on the use of the body of water that borders his property, as well as the use of his coastal area.

Riparian rights are those rights and obligations granted to landowners whose property is adjacent to or abuts a river or stream. Generally, landowners have the right to use the water as long as such use does not harm their upstream or downstream neighbors. In the event that the water is a non-navigable waterway, the owner generally owns the land under the water to the exact center of the waterway.

Littoral rights belong to landowners whose lands are bordered by large lakes and navigable oceans. Landowners with littoral rights have unrestricted access to water, but own the land only up to the mean water mark. After this point, the land is owned by the government. Water rights are incidental, which means that they are tied to the land and not to the owner. In other words, if a beachfront property is sold, the new owner gets the coastal rights; in return, the seller waives his rights.

Water rights are regulated by the states and each municipality can enforce stricter provisions on access and use of water.

Portfolio diversification through the use of water

Water rights can be a hot topic in some communities, and people can invest in water by investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track water-related market indices. Some of the most popular indices that track various water-related investment opportunities are the Dow Jones US Water Index, the ISE Clean Edge Water Index, the S&P Composite 1500 Utilities Index, and the S&P Global Water Index.

Many investors see water as a way to diversify their portfolios. Water is a finite resource, and population growth, climate change, and aging infrastructure seriously threaten freshwater supply and quality in many parts of the world, including the United States.

Research has shown that water as an alternative asset improves a traditional portfolio of stocks and bonds.

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Mark Holland

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