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How do you get a first owner for water?

Are you being intentionally obtuse? I just described two ways. There's Right of first use, Riparian rights, and my pet illustrative example of treating it as a publicly held asset to be sold... There's other ways beyond those three, but the first two are how ownership is assigned in the US today.

riparian rights is what led to the CA water wars where the wealthy from LA bought land up stream of the farmers in the owen's valley. It didn't solve the problem we're talking about regarding rich people buying up the water.

I have no idea how first use could work for water, would be happy to read more if you link me to something about it. A quick googling returned nothing.

The last one requires a lot more specifics to talk about meaningfully, but I'll bet that most of the free marketers wouldn't consider it a free market.

You're arguing with extreme left about markets.

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