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If there is not a valid legal argument for an express or implied easement right, then yes, you could charge them to use the drainage ditch. However, trying to uncover whether an implied easement exists before you by the property may require a lot of research and be a little tricky. You would definitely want to hire a local real estate lawyer before making such purchase.
For, example someone who has been using the ditch for many years, may now have rights to use it by a concept called "prescriptive easements". Another example would be that if there is no other way for the water to be siphoned of, a person using the ditch could argue that he has what is called an "easement by necessity".
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Edited by Maverick on 2/1/2011 at 1:30 PM EST