groundwater

Groundwater and the public trust doctrine, California style

California trial court rules that public trust doctrine applies to pumping that reduces flow in a navigable waterway

If you follow California water law or environmental law, you probably have been aware that the Environmental Law Foundation has been pursuing a public trust claim based on groundwater pumping that affects the Scott River. Last week they gained a victory at the trial court level, with a ruling that endorses the principle that groundwater …

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In Memoriam: Joseph L. Sax, Gentleman, Scholar, Giant of Environmental Law

Visionary environmental advocate will be sorely missed, long remembered.

[Posted on behalf of all Legal Planet authors at Berkeley Law.] It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Joseph L. Sax, James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation (Emeritus) at Berkeley Law. Joe was our hero, our teacher, our mentor, our colleague, our friend. …

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California Enacts Emergency Drought Legislation

State Water Rights Reforms a Key Part of the Legislative Package

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” This adage, attributed to Chicago Mayor and former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, seems especially apt regarding emergency legislation enacted by California lawmakers and signed into law last weekend by Governor Jerry Brown in response to the worst drought in recorded California history. That …

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California Headed for Record Drought: Will Critically-Needed Reforms Follow?

Confronting a Looming Environmental Disaster

The Sacramento Bee’s fine environmental reporter, Matt Weiser, yesterday reported on a looming, major drought facing California and its regional neighbors. The figures aren’t pretty.  A persistent high-pressure front stretching over the Gulf of Alaska and most of the Northern Pacific has diverted the normal fall and winter storm track away from California and other …

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Reforming Groundwater Adjudications: New Pritzker Environmental Policy Brief

A new report discusses groundwater in CA.

The Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment has released its latest Pritzker Environmental Law and Policy Brief, “Allocating Under Water: Reforming California’s Groundwater Adjudications.” California leads the nation in groundwater extraction, but it lags behind in updating groundwater-related laws and regulations. As a result, protracted litigation clogs the courts and often fails to protect water …

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California’s Groundwater Crisis: Time to Adjudicate

As Rick pointed out last week, the University of Texas has found that California’s groundwater resources are “being depleted at an alarming rate” and the state’s use of them is completely unsustainable.  The Texas study follows up on Rhead Enion’s study last year issued by the Emmett Center, which pointed out that California is one …

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Overdrafting California’s Groundwater Resources–A Chronic Condition

A recently issued study by a University of Texas-led group of research scientists confirm a discomforting fact: groundwater resources in California’s Central Valley are being depleted at an alarming rate.  As reported in the Sacramento Bee, the study warns that current groundwater extraction rates from the Central Valley aquifer–which is primarily mined to serve agricultural …

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California’s Delta Stewardship Council Gets Down to Business

Today California’s Delta Stewardship Council begins its deliberations on a Delta Plan that promises to be a big part of the answer to one of that state’s most pressing environmental questions: can California’s Delta be saved? Creation of the Delta Stewardship Council was a key element of landmark 2009 California legislation designed to address the …

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