Western Water/Growing Cities: An Examination of 11 States' Approach to the Issue

November 14, 2017

One of the defining issues of the twenty-first century will be the allocation of fresh water. Climate change, population growth and expansion into once rural areas, pollution, and increased per capita consumption will severely strain the water allocation systems of all states, particularly those in the West.    

In “Water and Growing Cities: A Survey of Western State Water Requirements for Urban Development,” the authors - water law practitioners in eleven surveyed states – considered how their state has begun to approach these challenges.  Presented on November 4, 2017 in Waco Texas, the Article was intended to provide the 2017 Dividing the Waters General Conference a summary of each state’s approach sufficient for the attending judges to discuss commonalities and differences.  

VNF Partner T.C. Richmond served as editor-in-chief and created comparative charts that are included in the Article.  VNF Partners Adam Gravley and Tadas Kisielius authored the Washington State section.  The Article is a compelling snap-shot of how each state attempts to manage the intricacies and conflicts inherent in the relationship between urban development and water resource management.

The National Judicial College, Dividing the Waters Program strives to assist judges at all levels of the court system to be in a better position to apply law, science, and wisdom in efficiently and effectively adjudicating some of the most difficult water disputes about how to allocate and share this most precious and communal resource.  T.C. Richmond and Adam Gravley serve on the Board of Advisors of the Dividing the Waters Program.

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For more information, please contact T.C. Richmond, Adam Gravley, or Tadas Kisielius.