Our new Second Edition of Modern Water Law: Private Property, Public Rights, and Environmental Protections has been published by Foundation Press and is available on Amazon. Co-authored again with Robert Adler, the Jefferson B. and Rita E. Fordham Presidential Dean, and Robin Kundis Craig, the James I. Farr Presidential Endowed Chair of Law, both at the University of Utah College of Law.
Modern Water Law provides a comprehensive text to study the range of legal issues and doctrines that affect water resources. We begin with private water use rights, including common law doctrines for riparian reasonable use and prior appropriation, as well as groundwater rights and the statutory schemes for administering water use rights. The book next details the range of public rights in water, including navigation, the public trust doctrine, federal reserved rights for tribal and public lands, and interstate water management. The book then explores modern challenges and environmental protection goals, focusing on the energy-water nexus, water pollution, and endangered species conflicts. The final chapters combine these concepts in the context of complex watershed restoration challenges and water rights takings litigation.
The second edition begins with entirely new coverage of the human right to water, including a 2017 federal case – Boler v. Earley/Mays. v. Snyder – regarding constitutional rights in the wake of the Flint, Michigan water crisis. (And great timing, as the Supreme Court denied review of the case just this week as our book came out in print.) Other major changes and developments include new cases on water use permitting, “takings” of private water rights, tribal rights to groundwater, interstate water disputes, and U.S.-Mexico water diplomacy. The second edition continues the logical organization that presents the field in appropriate depth for a semester course, with clear explanations and helpful questions and comments.
Below is a summary of contents (for more details, see the full Table of Contents and Cases):
PART I: PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS TO USE WATER
2. Riparian Law
3. History and Principles of Prior Appropriation
5. Modern Application of Water Law
PART II: PUBLIC RIGHTS AND INTERESTS IN WATER
6. Control and Ownership of Navigable Waters
7. Public Rights in Water: The Public Trust Doctrine
8. Federal Water Interests
9. Interstate Water Pollution, Apportionment and Management
10. The Water-Energy Nexus
PART III: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION OF WATER RESOURCES
11. The Intersection of Water Quality and Water Quantity
12. The Federal Endangered Species Act, Water Management, and Water Rights
13. Protecting and Restoring Watersheds and Water Systems
14. Public Interests, Private Rights in Water, and Constitutional Takings Claims