Acquisition of water rights / treatment for regulatory purposes

Could someone please help me with the following question (to Andrei.JOURAVlev @ cepal.org). I understand that, in the United States, the costs of acquiring water rights (for example, by a water supply
utility) are usually included in the rate base. The question is how are treated the water rights that the utility has not brought on the water market, but has (maybe many decades ago) received free of charge from the state government water authority. I understand that these rights would not be included in the rate base? Is this really so? Has there ever been a question or conflict over their valuation for regulatory purposes?
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