Skip Page Banner  
Skip Navigation

Encore! Legal and Environmental Challenges: What Lies Ahead for Interstate Water Compacts

Encore! Legal and Environmental Challenges: What Lies Ahead for Interstate Water CompactsWebinar
Product Code - EHAU03
Speaker(s): Laurie Fowler, University of Georgia; Kevin L. Patrick, Patrick, Miller, Kropf, Noto; Bill Staudenmaier, Snell & Wilmer L.L.P
Buy Now
This is a Bloomberg BNA encore presentation - an earlier recording of this popular webinar with question submission and CE availability.

How states share the waterways that bisect the United States is an issue as old as the country. But it has become more complicated in recent years by burgeoning populations in arid regions, severe water shortages and the specter of long-term climate change. Who owns the water? The answer lies in the legal framework that governs most of the nation’s available freshwater: interstate water compacts. Over the past century, Congress approved more than two dozen binding agreements between and among states dealing with water rights. The first, the seven-state Colorado River Compact, still guides water distribution to much of the Southwest, even though the region would be unrecognizable to signatories of that 1922 agreement. The country has changed, issues continue to emerge, and the U.S. Supreme Court has become a regular umpire in interstate water compact disputes. Can water sharing agreements that did not anticipate the nation’s growth or emerging environmental and technological demands on U.S. waterways still serve the states and their citizens? In this 90-minute webinar, the panelists will explore how interstate water compacts work, where they are failing to keep up with 21st century demands, and what the future might hold.

Educational Objectives:

•Describe the major interstate water disputes and the compacts involved.
•Discuss whether agreements formed decades ago can still work in the 21st century.
•Analyze recent Supreme Court action, and discuss whether the often plodding legal process for dealing with water issues can serve states in the years ahead.
•Explore how states are using compacts or original actions to address water shortages, as competing uses, population growth and climate change affect supplies.
•Examine a significant new technological question: What happens when states attempt to use compact water in ways that were not contemplated at the time states entered into agreement, such as hydraulic fracturing or more efficient irrigation techniques?
•Review whether water compacts are necessary, and discuss how states without such pacts are fairing.

Who Would Benefit From Attending This Program:
Environmental attorneys, water law consultants, professionals dealing with issues of water rights and regulations, educators grappling with these issues, water law students.

Program Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: A general understanding of environmental and/or natural resource law.
CPE Delivery method: Group Internet-Based Live
Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge & Applications
Recommended CPE credit: 1.5 credit
Anticipated CLE credits: 1.5 credits (may vary based on locations requested)

Laurie Fowler, University of Georgia; Kevin L. Patrick, Patrick, Miller, Kropf, Noto; Bill Staudenmaier, Snell & Wilmer L.L.P


Laurie Fowler is associate dean of public service and external affairs at the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. She is also on the adjunct faculty at the School of Law where she teaches the environmental law practicum. Laurie is the Director for Policy at the UGA River Basin Center and her research focuses primarily on the management of land use practices to protect water quality, supply and biodiversity. She also is the coordinator of The University Collaborative (TUC), a team of faculty and students at the major universities within the Apalachicola-Chattachoochee-Flint (ACF) basin (In the states of Florida, Alabama, and Georgia). The TUC provides technical and policy assistance to the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Stakeholders, Inc.; their most recent work is a GAPs Analysis of Watershed Management Functions in the ACF. Laurie earned her LL.M. degree from the University of Washington, her J.D. degree from the University of Georgia and her B.A. from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.

Kevin L. Patrick is a shareholder at Patrick, Miller, Kropf, Noto. The firm’s focus is on water rights, water transfers, water and waste water planning and development, and tribal water (See: Kevin has argued numerous cases in the U.S. Courts of Appeal and state supreme courts and was lead counsel for Tarrant Regional Water District in its case before the U.S. Supreme Court last year. He received his J.D. from the University of Tulsa School of Law, National Energy Law & Policy Institute, and a B.A. from Virginia Tech. He is licensed in Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas, as well as a number of U.S. District Courts, 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the Board of Visitors of the Sustainable Energy Resources Law Institute of the University of Tulsa and the Board of Advisors of the Bloomberg BNA Water Law & Policy Monitor. He is a frequent speaker on water planning and water rights related topics throughout the United States, South America, and Europe. Kevin is a member of the Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas bars. He also is admitted to practice in the 10th Circuit as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bill Staudenmaier is a partner with Snell & Wilmer L.L.P in Phoenix, Ariz., where he practices water and natural resources law. Bill specializes in acquiring and protecting water rights for industrial, agricultural and municipal water users. Bill received his Bachelor of Science degree in forestry and soil science from the University of Wisconsin, and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. Bill is a member of the Arizona bar. He also is admitted to practice in the 9th Circuit as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.