In the face of drought, pollution, and population growth, water has become both more scarce and more in demand than ever. As vital resources are stretched to new limits, the world will need laws and policies that direct the wise, sustainable use and distribution of water.
Students involved in Water Resources Law learn about local, national, and global efforts to secure water supplies through research, education, and policy development. The focus rests on water law, environmental justice, and policy initiatives to further wise, judicious use of water as a public, common-pool resource.
Faculty, staff and students meet regularly to discuss their research and learn about cutting-edge litigation and policy initiatives in the world of water law. Students also have the opportunity to learn, research, and propose solutions to a wide range of applied efforts involving water law.
Past projects include:
- a detailed examination of water governance for the entire Great Lakes region, including the public trust doctrine;
- research on the statutes that regulate water, international and Native American treaty rights that affect the Great Lakes;
- examination of the common law and other legal constraints on the use and governance of water; and,
- examination of provisions in the water codes of California and several other western states that reserve broad public authority to reclaim private appropriative water rights for public purposes, such as ecological restoration.