Customary Practice and Community Governance in Implementing the Human Right to Water – The Case of the Acequia Communities of Colorado's Rio Culebra Watershed
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
28 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2013
Date Written: February 1, 2011
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
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