As the current drought demonstrates, water is not always present where it is wanted and needed and its allocation is becoming one of the most pressing issues of our time. Everywhere, it is becoming known as "blue gold", as issues of price as well as availability achieve strong focus and the forces of demand, supply, and conservation converge on the domains of law and ethics, policy and politics.
Our course will concentrate on three major topics: rights in water; issues of sustainability; and stewardship, including innovative technological advances. For some of our specific topics within these units, we will treat Texas as our living laboratory. The course will offer an introduction to hydrology through guest-expert participation. Additionally, the instructor will introduce her own new work.
Students will write a research paper, which may satisfy the writing requirement. Or, if they have already satisfied the writing requirement, they may write two shorter papers instead. The research paper may be a joint project with one or more other students. All topics and joint-paper methodologies must be approved by the instructor. Every year, papers written for this seminar have morphed into published law review Notes. In recent years, Notes which began life as papers in this seminar have won prizes from their journals.
This course is also open to qualified students from other University departments, with the instructor's permission.