Emerging Water Law Issues Topic of ABA Conference in San Diego

February 19, 2012
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The American Bar Association issued the following news release:

The right to water, aging water infrastructure, water management challenges and U.S. regional water law issues will be among the emerging national and international topics discussed at the 30th Annual Water Law Conference in San Diego, Feb. 22-24, sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources. The meeting will take place at the Westin San Diego, 400 W. Broadway.http://www.americanbar.org/groups/environment_energy_resources/about_us.html

Government and non-governmental organization representatives, leading academics, in-house counsel and practitioners will discuss current water issues and the evolution of water law over the past 30 years.

Peter H. Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security, will give keynote remarks at a Feb. 23 luncheon beginning at 12:30 p.m. Later that day, Larry Echo Hawk, assistant secretary for Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, will deliver a keynote address prior to the 5 p.m. reception.

Program highlights include the following:

“The Climate Has Changed, Now What?” — The panel will discuss water management challenges that arise when traditional climate models are no longer dependable, and will examine a selection of climate change strategies, how they affect water law, and their implications for water agencies and water users.

Feb. 23, 3:15 – 4:45 p.m.

“Legal Issues Across Interstate Boundaries” — Litigation persists over interstate waters because of competing demands due to municipal growth, energy development and intensified agricultural use. Increasingly, these disputes engage federalism and state sovereignty issues. To be discussed will be the fight over Georgia’s Lake Lanier, disputes between Nebraska and Kansas surrounding the Republican River, and the clash between Montana and Wyoming arising from a shift to more efficient irrigation systems.

Feb. 23, 3:15 – 4:45 p.m.

“Tribal Water Rights – Off-Reservation Water Marketing by Tribal Governments: Can Tribes Sell Settlement Water?” — The Commerce Clause allows water to cross state lines like other commodities, but states often have other ideas about whether water should be exported. This panel will examine the marketing of reserved water rights to non-tribal entities by tribes in Arizona, New Mexico and other states, and how existing law addresses such efforts.

Feb. 24, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

“Hot Water Topic: Water and Shale Gas Development” — Concerns have been raised that shale gas development may threaten ground and surface water supplies and quality, and that potential impacts have not been adequately studied or regulated. This panel will address how existing law addresses these issues.

Feb. 24, 11 a.m. – Noon

The conference brochure provides a complete list of meeting programs and speakers.http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/events/environment_energy_resources/2012/02/water_law_conference/final_30wl_brochure.authcheckdam.pdf

There is no charge for media covering this event. For media credentials and more information please contact Maria Gutierrez at 202-662-1091, [email protected]

Contact: Maria Gutierrez, 202/662-1091, [email protected]

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