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Fall 2023 Reading Group

From Flint to the Colorado: Managing Water in the 21st Century

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type: No Exam

Water is sometimes scarce, sometimes abundant, but always essential to life. Its governance presents a unique mix of international, federal and state regulatory regimes that remain deeply contested. The rules for who gets water were largely set over a century ago. Not surprisingly, they provide a poor fit for today’s much greater demands for water from cities and agriculture, not to mention the hard realities of climate change. We will explore together the current crisis on the Colorado River, the drinking water legacies of Flint and Jackson, why hedge funds are investing in the “Blue Gold” of the 21st century, tribal reserved rights, and whether there should be a right to water, among other current issues. By the end of the semester, you will have a much greater understanding of why a seemingly simple, clear liquid is so very difficult to manage.

Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates: 9/14, 9/28, 10/12, 10/26, 11/9, 11/30

Students who have completed Water Law previously are not eligible to enroll in this reading group for credit.