In the context of California's history-making drought — the worst in 1,200 years — experts at the 2015 California Water Law Symposium debated reasonable, beneficial, and wasteful uses of the state's dwindling and precious water resources. Celebrating its eleventh year, this symposium, entitled "Wasted Water: Reasonable Use Law in 21st Century California," was hosted by Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco on January 24 and saw participation from half a dozen law schools and experts from law firms, nonprofit organizations, government, and businesses across California.
The 2015 California Water Law Symposium examined the topic of reasonable use in the 21st century. In this spirit, organizers from U.C. Hastings crafted a panel regarding the scope of the "reasonable use" doctrine and the limits of the State Water Resources Control Board's (State Water Board) power to regulate water users.
“Water courts: Are they right for California?” A distinguished panel gathered at the University of California, Davis on January 26, 2013 to entertain this question as part of the 2013 California Water Law Symposium (“Symposium”). This panel aptly fit the theme overarching the Symposium: “Beyond the water wars: collaborative management solutions for a shared resource,” as it contemplated the potential benefits and drawbacks of California adopting a management solution like Colorado’s specialized water courts.
Californian policymakers’ and legal practitioners’ contemplation of courting the idea of water courts matters at a deeper level for it suggests perhaps the status quo needs fundamental improvement. The panel’s discussion implicates the broader issue of how we ought to structure our judicial institutions to better serve the needs of citizens relying on courts to resolve water resource disputes. This article presents some of the diverse issues examined by the panel in their discussion, and offers suggestions to help California move further along in that quest.
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