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Water Law and Policy

This course will study how society allocates and protects its most crucial natural resource -- water. The emphasis will be on current legal and policy debates, although we will also examine the history of water development and politics in the United States. Among the many issues that we will consider are: alternative means of responding to the growing worldwide demand for water; the appropriate role for the market and private companies in meeting society's water needs; protection of threatened groundwater resources; environmental limits on water development (including the Endangered Species Act and the "public trust" doctrine); Indian water rights; and interstate and international disputes over water. Students will be expected to participate actively in classroom discussions. Elements Used in Grading: Class participation, attendance and final exam.

Instructors for this course (Past and Present)

Barton H. "Buzz" Thompson, Jr.