Friday, December 16, 2005
The 24th Annual Water Law Conference, entitled "19th Century Rules for the 21st Century: Are Growth and Development Outpacing Water Law?" will be held on February 23-24, 2006 in San Diego. ABA 24th Annual Water Law Conference
"The conference will focus on the Nation’s system of water laws in the face of an explosion of population growth and a real estate boom. Speakers will address the central question of whether antiquated laws are flexible enough to provide policymakers with the tools needed to manage our water supplies in the face of increasing demand and urbanization. Panels will contemplate how institutions that manage water resources can successfully adapt to the dynamic water world; how administrators can interpret historic water agreements with Indian tribes in the east and in the west; and how interested parties should allocate water demands once federal projects are paid out. Other speakers will debate the constitutionality of the Endangered Species Act and will discuss implications of the Clean Water Act on water supplies. Practitioners also will hear from developers, environmentalists and regulators who routinely find adequacy of water supplies to be the key component to urbanization and development." Highlights will include
- A keynote by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano (invited) discussing her initiatives to provide water supply reliability in the face of tremendous population growth.
- A closing address by Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water Mark Limbaugh discussing the "View from Washington" on the relationship between water resources and growth.
- Opening panel discussing "Who Owns the Water" that has been developed by the United States under the Reclamation Act, used by irrigators, regulated by States, claimed by Tribes and is now coveted by developers across the urbanizing West.
- A conversation on what is an adequate water supply, both from a legal and practical perspective, and whether looking to assure an adequate water supply is really the best way to provide water necessary to meet the needs of a growing population.
- Moot court debating the question of whether the federal Endangered Species Act is, in fact, constitutional under the Supreme Court’s recent Commerce Clause jurisprudence.
- Discussion of the complicated ethical questions associated with multi-party negotiations and mediations in the context of new development and water resources.
- Three distinguished practitioners discussing the similarities (and differences) of interstate adjudications and conflicts among the United States, Tribes and States taking place based on riparian water rights versus appropriative water rights.
- Update on the latest developments on TMDLs and a discussion of using water quality to regulate growth and development.