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2L-3L Upper Level Lesson Topics

Water Law Basics: Rights in Ground Water

Who has the right to pump and use ground water -- the water in underground aquifers? The various states in the United States have used a variety of rules to establish rights in ground water. As a practical matter, some of these rules have created problems because states didn't recognize that ground waters and surface waters are often connected.

This lesson provides a review of the five major doctrines that states have employed to decide who has what rights in ground water.

Water Law Basics: Riparianism

Riparianism is the system of water law used in most eastern states in the United States to govern property rights in water. This lesson provides a review of the basic concepts of the doctrine of riparianism for students in Water Law or Property classes. It covers both common law riparianism and regulated riparianism.

Water Law: The California System

While most of the states in the country choose between the water law doctrines of prior appropriation and riparian rights, California applies both. This approach to state water law is called, appropriately, the California system.

This lesson gives a brief overview of the California system of water rights. California was the first state to attempt to blend prior appropriation and riparian rights. However, its example can be considered instructive for the modern evolution of water law, because more and more states are trying to blend the best parts of both systems.

Waters of the United States

This lesson was written as a review of the material covered in the second part of Chapter 4 of the CALI e-book, Wetlands Law: A Course Source. The lesson reviews the regulations, policies, and case law interpreting the scope of federal jurisdiction over "waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act.

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