Emerging Water Law Issues Topic of ABA Conference in San Diego

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 17, 2012 —The right to water, aging water infrastructure, water management challenges and U.S. regional water law issues will be among the emerging national and international topics discussed at the 30th Annual Water Law Conference in San Diego, Feb. 22-24, sponsored by the _ Section of Environment, Energy and Resources.  The meeting will take place at the Westin San Diego, 400 W. Broadway.

Government and non-governmental organization representatives, leading academics, in-house counsel and practitioners will discuss current water issues and the evolution of water law over the past 30 years.

Larry Echo Hawk, assistant secretary for Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, will deliver a keynote address prior to the 5 p.m. reception.

Program highlights include the following:

“The Climate Has Changed, Now What?” — The panel will discuss water management challenges that arise when traditional climate models are no longer dependable, and will examine a selection of climate change strategies, how they affect water law, and their implications for water agencies and water users.
Feb. 23, 3:15 – 4:45 p.m.

“Legal Issues Across Interstate Boundaries” — Litigation persists over interstate waters because of competing demands due to municipal growth, energy development and intensified agricultural use. Increasingly, these disputes engage federalism and state sovereignty issues. To be discussed will be the fight over Georgia’s Lake Lanier, disputes between Nebraska and Kansas surrounding the Republican River, and the clash between Montana and Wyoming arising from a shift to more efficient irrigation systems.
Feb. 23, 3:15 – 4:45 p.m.

“Tribal Water Rights – Off-Reservation Water Marketing by Tribal Governments: Can Tribes Sell Settlement Water?” — The Commerce Clause allows water to cross state lines like other commodities, but states often have other ideas about whether water should be exported. This panel will examine the marketing of reserved water rights to non-tribal entities by tribes in Arizona, New Mexico and other states, and how existing law addresses such efforts.
Feb. 24, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

“Hot Water Topic: Water and Shale Gas Development” Concerns have been raised that shale gas development may threaten ground and surface water supplies and quality, and that potential impacts have not been adequately studied or regulated. This panel will address how existing law addresses these issues.
Feb. 24, 11 a.m. – Noon

The conference brochure provides a complete list of meeting programs and speakers.

There is no charge for media covering this event.  For media credentials and more information please contact Maria Gutierrez at -1091, .

With nearly 400,000 members, the _ is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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