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Water Law

Issues relating to water rights, supply, allocation and pollution have emerged as one of the top environmental issues of the 21st century. Typically, these issues are considered to be related to streams and rivers, but the proposed course will take a more holistic view and consider the connections among internal waters, estuaries, coasts and oceans. The course will be roughly divided into two sections: (1) an overview of domestic state and federal law regarding the riparian and prior appropriation doctrines for the allocation of water supplies; water pollution; and coastal protection; and (2) an overview of key provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, notably the jurisdictional, fisheries and pollution provisions. In each part of the course, selected current issues will be addressed. Attention will be given to the impact on the oceans from climate change. Enrollment limited.