Water

Registration Is Open for the 2022 California Water Law Symposium

California’s Most Important Annual Water Law Conference–Law Student Organized!–Set for April 9th

Registration is now open for California’s 2022 Water Law Symposium, scheduled for Saturday, April 9th. U.C. Davis School of Law has the honor of hosting this year’s Symposium, which is an extraordinary event in two respects: first, it is organized entirely by law students (rather than law firms, water organizations, law professors or commercial vendors).  …

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Future Shock

The latest IPCC report contains crucial new information about how soon and how bad climate impacts will be.

When the IPCC released its latest climate science report a few weeks ago, many commentators observed that the report should heighten our sense of urgency about climate action. Most of that discussion was at a very general level. It’s worth taking a closer look at some key findings and their policy implications. Here, I want …

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California needs water law reform

Time to update 19th century law to meet 21st century reality

California’s water law was developed in the 19th century. It has not been comprehensively reformed since, despite substantial population growth, changing social values, and the appointment 45 years ago of a blue-ribbon commission to recommend changes. Now the “new normal” of the anthropocene promises reduced water availability coincident with increased demand. It is past time …

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Can we govern large-scale green infrastructure for multiple water benefits?

Yolo Bypass Aerial View

by Lidia Cano Pecharroman, Christopher Williams, Nell Green Nylen, and Michael Kiparsky

Green infrastructure is increasingly emphasized as an alternative, novel path for water infrastructure. The possibilities are intriguing: Can we transition from a landscape dominated by siloed grey infrastructure (think concrete and steel, constructed for one or a few key outcomes like water supply or flood control) to one that centers natural processes in water infrastructure …

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Wetlands, the Clean Water Act & the Supreme Court: the Sacketts Return to Washington

Justices Grant Review (Again) in the Sacketts’ Longstanding Wetlands Battle With the Government

  This week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Sackett v. USEPA, No. 21-454, an important appeal involving the scope of federal authority to regulate wetlands under the Clean Water Act. If the Sackett litigation sounds familiar, it should: the case has been pending for well over a decade, and this is …

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The Quagmire of Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

The scope of federal jurisdiction over water bodies and wetlands remains as murky as ever.

The Biden Administration announced on Monday that it would not meet a February target date to issue a revised definition of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. It still plans to issue a revised definition later in the year. That sounds like a very technical issue. But it actually determines the extent to which …

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Everyday Christmas: The Gift of the Commons

Clean air. Clean water. We receive these public goods every day without payment

One of the Christmas classics is the Jimmy Stewart movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey, Stewart’s character, is despondent about his life but then learns how much he has unknowingly helped others and how grateful they are. It’s heartwarming, if also a bit corny. There’s a flip side to that story: the need to remember …

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Losing Justice Hobbs, Western Water Expert and Valued Mentor

View of the South Platte River from the Waterton Canyon Trail. Photo by Nell Green Nylen.

When former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory J. Hobbs passed away recently, just weeks shy of his 77th birthday, he left a gaping hole in the hearts of many.  Not just family and close friends.  But people across the Colorado legal community, the broader Western water community, and a far-flung network that includes Berkeley Law …

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The Latest Chapter in Los Angeles’ Century-Long Water War With the Eastern Sierra’s People & Environment

LADWP’s Unilateral Revocation of Water Allocation to Mono County’s Farmers & Ranchers Triggers County’s CEQA Challenge

There LADWP goes again. Recently the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power announced it was walking away from its longstanding obligation to provide Mono County residents and the environment with a tiny fraction of the water it transports from Mono County to LADWP’s urban customers in Los Angeles.  When efforts by county officials to …

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The Ongoing Tension over Stormwater Discharges in Los Angeles

Upcoming hearings on a proposed new MS4 permit will set the stage for the future of water quality throughout LA County

[Disclosure: The Frank G. Wells Environmental Clinic at UCLA School of Law is representing Los Angeles Waterkeeper on matters related to the subject of this post. I will shortly be joining Los Angeles Waterkeeper as a Staff Attorney. However, like all other Legal Planet posts, this post reflects only my own views and opinions.] The …

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