ENR 5451 Water Law

Course Description

Freshwater is a necessary resource, but also a scarce one. It is this scarcity that produces the conditions for the emergence of conflict among potential users, hence requiring the design of institutions –or rules- that seek to accomplish an efficient and equitable utilization of water. This class examines such institutions a variety of levels –state, federal, and international- and analyzes how they affect water access and use in different areas (agriculture, energy, etc.). Students in the class will also engage in a careful examination of the sources of conflict and cooperation among water stakeholders on a regional and global scale. The main goal of the course is to foster the students’ capacity to assess how water- related conflicts can be prevented through the design and implementation of relevant policies.

Course Objectives

  • To expose students to the study of water topics from a policy perspective
  • To understand the role of national legislation in the regulation of behavior with potentially detrimental effects for water quality in the U.S.
  • To learn about the potential and limitations of both free markets and governments in dealing with water management problems
  • To learn how to translate policy analysis into usable directives for water policy makers and stakeholders
  • To develop writing presentation skills.