Tom Garrett makes a good point about the ownership of the water in Payson. Let me broaden it a bit for him.
Check out the Arizona Revised Statutes, Chapter 45-141. Public nature of waters of the state; beneficial use; reversion to state; actions not constituting abandonment or forfeiture.
A. The waters of all sources, flowing in streams, canyons, ravines or other natural channels, or in definite underground channels, whether perennial or intermittent, flood, waste or surplus water, and of lakes, ponds and springs on the surface, belong to the public and are subject to appropriation and beneficial use as provided in this chapter.
B. Beneficial use shall be the basis, measure and limit to the use of water. An appropriator of water is entitled to beneficially use all of the water appropriated on less than all of the land to which the water right is appurtenant, and this beneficial use of the water appropriated does not result in the abandonment or forfeiture of all or any portion of the right.
Jack Lavelle, Public Information Officer, Arizona Department of Water Resources, Phoenix