Customary Practice and Community Governance in Implementing the Human Right to Water – The Case of the Acequia Communities of Colorado's Rio Culebra Watershed

28 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2013  

Gregory Alan Hicks

University of Washington - School of Law

Devon G. Peña

University of Washington - Departments of Anthropology and American Ethnic Studies

Date Written: February 1, 2011

Abstract

Community control of water resources has great cultural and political importance when people’s identity and ways of living depend on their relationship to specific landscapes and natural resources. In this paper we focus on the Colorado Acequia Act, a 2009 law intended to provide an alternative and culturally specific legal regime for the management of water rights and water distribution systems in Hispano communities. We analyze the challenges of meeting the Act’s policy goals in the shadow of Colorado’s dominant prior appropriation system of water allocation. We note the continuity of the Act’s purposes with international law principles favoring recognition of a human right to water.

This paper was presented at "Implementing the Human Right to Water in the West," held at Willamette University College of Law Feb. 3-5, 2011.

Keywords: human rights, water law, natural resources

Suggested Citation

Hicks, Gregory Alan and Peña, Devon G., Customary Practice and Community Governance in Implementing the Human Right to Water – The Case of the Acequia Communities of Colorado's Rio Culebra Watershed (February 1, 2011). Willamette Journal of International Law and Dispute Resolution, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 185-210, 2010; University of Washington School of Law Research Paper No. 2013-20. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2337813

Gregory Alan Hicks (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law ( email )

William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States

Devon G. Peña

University of Washington - Departments of Anthropology and American Ethnic Studies ( email )

Box 353100
Seattle, WA 98195
United States

HOME PAGE: http://depts.washington.edu/anthweb/users/dpena

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