Water ? who owns it, who can use and who controls it ?
continues to be a very interesting and wide reaching discussion.  Drought management regulations were passed
by the General Assembly in 2007 that required large water users to register with the state and authorized regulation of private wells.  The governor intervened in Alcoa’s federal licensing renewal to operate hydroelectric facilities using water from the Yadkin River in 2009 as explained by CJ here and here and with additional

shenanigans here.

The Charlotte Business Journal reports today the US Supreme Court said power companies could fight for
water rights between states but the city of Charlotte could not. 
In a fight between the two Carolinas over water rights in the Catawba
River, the Supremes ruled that Duke Power could be a player since ninety two
percent of water pulled from NC rivers is used by energy companies and water utilities
for operations of hydroelectric plants and cooling coal and nuclear power

  At the heart of the controversy before the high court is who controls the water in
the Catawba River that runs between North and South Carolina. ?The inter-basin
transfer, or IBT as it is called in government circles, removes water from one
river basin into another. That?s a problem for downstream communities and
businesses ? and states ? because an IBT reduces the amount of water flowing in
a river.?

So who controls
the flow of water? The US Supreme Court will be answering some of the questions
in South Carolina v North Carolina (138, Original).  The North Carolina General Assembly is looking at how much control government should have over water in a study committee and in a House committee when they reconvene in May.  It’s a fight that’s just begun.