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.



Accelerated JD | Vermont Law JD | Vermont LawVermont Law School’s Accelerated Juris Doctor program will save you a year’s tuition and living expenses. And you’ll enter (or re-enter) the workforce sooner.
Center for Agriculture and Food Systems | Vermont Law School for Agriculture and Food Systems | Vermont Law SchoolDevelop the next generation of sustainable food and agriculture law and policy leaders while providing legal and policy resources and solutions for citizens to build and support such systems.
Certificate in Water Resources Law | Vermont Law in Water Resources Law | Vermont Law
Dispute Resolution Clinic | Vermont Law Resolution Clinic | Vermont LawOffers students the opportunity to practice non-litigation dispute resolution skills and strategies in the real-world setting of the New Hampshire and Vermont courts.
Environmental Law Center - Vermont Law School Law Center - Vermont Law SchoolWith the largest graduate environmental law program in the country, the ELC has always been ranked within the top two by U.S. News & World Report.
Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic | Vermont Law and Natural Resources Law Clinic | Vermont LawWorking directly with leading conservation organizations throughout the country​ and with local community groups and promoting access to justice for those who would not otherwise be able to obtain legal representation.
Food and Agriculture Clinic | Vermont Law and Agriculture Clinic | Vermont LawEquips students with practical skills to be sustainable food and agriculture advocates and entrepreneurs.
JD Externships | Vermont Law Externships | Vermont Law
Juris Doctor | Vermont Law Doctor | Vermont Law​Earning a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School indicates dedication and commitment, not just to the legal profession, but to making an impact through the law.
LLM in Environmental Law in Environmental Law
Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) | of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) |Offering interdisciplinary training in environmental law and policy, science, economics, and public advocacy.
Master's Externships's Externships

"​Expanding demands for water, combined with anticipated reductions in water supply in many parts of the country due to climate change, demand more effective public governance of public water resources."​

​John Echeverria, professor of law and co-director of the Water and Justice Program at Vermont Law School