Let Us Drink Our Fill: The History of Water and its Impact on Resource and Environmental Management
18 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2005
In Thirst: A Short History of Drinking Water, Jim Salzman examines the history of water management in trying to illuminate whether and how we can provide drinking water to humanity. This commentary on his paper, written for a symposium on the scholarship of Carol Rose, looks at his historical analysis and concludes that the real key to managing water has been to manage it differently depending on its ultimate use.
From this insight, the paper proposes that this management of resources by focusing on the resource's use can provide a strong guiding principle for management of many natural resources and for environmental law in general. This focus also helps illuminate how certain natural resources can be and should be treated as a right or entitlement for certain uses, while still guarding against overuse by allowing that same resource to be treated as a commodity when destined for other uses.
Keywords: Environment, water, rights, property, resource, management, use
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