The Shape of [Ground] Water (Law): California's New Act, and Prospects for Sustainability

Journal of the Southwest, 2017, Forthcoming

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2016-38

20 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2016 Last revised: 27 Jan 2017

See all articles by Joseph F. DiMento

Joseph F. DiMento

University of California, Irvine - School of Law, Planning, Policy & Design, and Transportation Studies

Date Written: June 20, 2016

Abstract

In this chapter, I describe attempts to improve groundwater management in California in a context about which serious people have concluded [with language I once considered inappropriate but am now convinced is accurate] the law has been “a mess”.

I summarize new legislation that is attempting to employ some of the principles that leading policy scholars have identified to make the management of California’s ground water more equitable. I lay out the challenges to developing new governance mechanisms in the context of radically different interests, a wide range of understandings of groundwater rights, and a changing physical environment. I then speculate on the prospects for success of the new governance regime including with reference to alternative regulatory and market strategies that are being used (or considered) to provide for better management. My analysis addresses legal issues that arise and need to be analyzed or confronted in consideration of new law. The challenges may be several. Among coverage: I attempt to respond to the chilling effect of threatened takings challenges to changes in groundwater rights. And I address how notions of equity and sustainability science may affect legal analysis in an era of scarcity.

Suggested Citation

DiMento, Joseph F., The Shape of [Ground] Water (Law): California's New Act, and Prospects for Sustainability (June 20, 2016). Journal of the Southwest, 2017, Forthcoming; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2016-38. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2798216

Joseph F. DiMento (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine - School of Law, Planning, Policy & Design, and Transportation Studies ( email )

Irvine, CA
United States
(202) 466 1135 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
95
rank
264,948
Abstract Views
446
PlumX Metrics