Federal court orders the state to deliver bottled water and inform residents about lead contamination in Flint’s drinking water

“In modern society, when we turn on a faucet, we expect safe drinking water to flow out. As the evidence shows, that is no longer the case in Flint. The Flint water crisis has in effect turned back the clock to a time when people traveled to central water sources to fill their buckets and carry the water home.” – U.S. District Court Judge David M. Lawson, Opinion and Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary... Read more →

My new book, Modern Water Law: Private Property, Public Rights, and Environmental Protections, has been published by Foundation Press and is available on Amazon. I was honored to work with two superb co-authors on this book - Robert Adler, Interim Dean and James I. Farr Chair in Law, and Robin Kundis Craig, William H. Leary Professor of Law, both at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. Modern Water Law: Private Property, Public... Read more →

Capping the Bottle on Uncertainty: Closing the Information Loophole in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact – Guest Post by Jeff Dornbos

This is the second of two guest posts by Jeffrey Dornbos, an attorney with Warner Norcross & Judd in Holland, Michigan. In addition to his legal background, Jeff also taught environmental science, holds a captain’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard, and is a SCUBA diver. Jeff’s guest posts introduce his two excellent law review articles focusing on management of transboundary water resources – “Capping the Bottle on Uncertainty: Closing the Information Loophole in the... Read more →

Colorado bottled water dispute raises questions about western water deals and renews calls for federal regulatory reform

Another bottled water fight is heating up, this time in Colorado, where Nestle is moving forward with plans to bottle spring water that feeds the Arkansas River. Scot Kersgaard of the Colorado Independent has superb reporting of the dispute, which follows the typical storyline of bottled water fights in rural communities (with an interesting twist of some local officials from Chaffee County making cash on the deal). From a legal perspective, the Colorado controversy raises... Read more →

Beyond bottled water - review of the movie TAPPED

I was given the opportunity to review the new movie Tapped just before its release by Bullfrog Films. The movie is now out on DVD and available for screening, and I highly recommend it. For starters, I really enjoyed watching this film (and I watch a lot of movies). The production was fantastic – not surprising since it’s the same folks that made Who Killed the Electric Car? I especially loved the soundtrack (being from... Read more →

Is groundwater marketing legal?

When Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens proposed a massive scheme to acquire, market, and sell Texas groundwater, many water wonks began questioning if groundwater marketing is legal. (For the latest on the Pickens water scheme and its legal issues, see Dr. Michael Campana’s WaterWired blog.) Regardless of the merits of Pickens’ proposal, it raises the fundamental question of whether groundwater marketing is legal under the diverse state laws that apply to groundwater rights. I... Read more →