Water Law and Policy
This course studies how society allocates and protects its most crucial natural resource, water. The emphasis is on current legal and policy debates, although the course also examines the history of water development and politics in the United States. Among the many issues considered 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); watershed protection and restoration; Indian water rights; interstate and international disputes over water; and public access to waterways.
The course includes several case studies, which require students to think strategically about how they would solve real world problems that have confronted lawyers and policymakers. Students are also expected to participate actively in classroom discussions.