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Stakes and lines used to define a lateral water hazard must be marked red.
Stakes and lines used to define a water hazard must be marked yellow. Check out the difference between these two hazards by looking up "Lateral Water Hazard" and "Water Hazard" in the "Definitions" section in the Rules of Golf Booklet.
The relief procedure for water hazards and lateral water hazards are different and are explained in detail under Rule 26.
A player's club may touch the ground in a hazard or water in a water hazard in measuring or probing in water in a water hazard to find ball, in probing to find a ball covered by loose impediments or in preventing that player from falling (Rule 13-4). Remember that the definition of grounding is when the grass is compressed to the point where it will support the weight of the club (see Decision 18-2b/5).
If the dry leaves and old grass was material piled for removal then it would be considered “Ground under repair” and relief would be available without penalty, (See Rule 25-1b). If the debris was not intended to be removed you would either play the ball as it lay or declare it unplayable and proceed under Rule 28a, b or c, incurring a one-stroke penalty.
No. See Exception 1 under Rule 13
Since your ball lies through the green you have the options of having the flag left in the hole unattended, having it attended or having it removed from the hole. (See Rule 17)
This is a common question and most players get confused. Basically if the ball rolls more than two club-lengths, from where it first struck a part of the course, regardless of direction, it must be re-dropped, see Rule 20-2c (vi). If the ball rolls and comes to rest nearer the hole than the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water, it must be re-dropped, see Rule 20-2c (vii)(c).
Since the weed is only brown but still attached it cannot be considered a loose impediment. However, one must also remember that a player may only "fairly" take his stance and must take, "the least intrusive course of action which results in the minimum improvement in the position or lie of the ball". If the action you described would improve the lie of your ball then you would be subject to penalty under Rule 13-2.