If a person desires to raise and extend or erect and maintain a dam on the person's property across a stream or other watercourse that is not navigable to create or improve a waterpower for milling or manufacturing purposes and property owned by other persons will be overflowed or otherwise damaged, the person desiring to erect or extend or raise the dam may acquire the right to do so by petitioning the court and having damages ascertained and paid as prescribed in chapter 117.
A dam may not be erected, raised, or maintained under this section that damages a waterpower previously developed.
If the right to erect, raise, or extend a dam is acquired under subdivision 1, the project must be started within one year, completed, and the waterpower applied to the purpose stated in the petition within three years after the right to erect, raise, or extend the dam is acquired. If a dam or the machinery connected with the dam is destroyed, the rebuilding of the dam or machinery must be started and completed within the same periods after the destruction.
Failure to comply with subdivision 3 or failure to operate a mill or machinery for one consecutive year after it is erected forfeits the rights acquired under subdivision 1 unless the owner is an infant, or is otherwise legally disabled, in which case the periods under this section begin after the disability is removed.