California Water Resources


Please click on the links below for copies of the class assignments in Word and pdf formats, as well as links to other readings.

I will post additional assignments as they are updated.

Assigned Readings

August 20th: Introduction

Assignment 1: Introduction

[Word]  [PDF]

Plumbing California, National Geographic (April 2010)

Alexis Madrigal, American Aqueduct: The Great California Water Saga, The Atlantic (February 2014)

Nathan Hegedus, Big Water, The Morning News, May 13, 2014

August 22nd & 27th : An Historical Overview of the Development

and Use of Water in California

Assignment 2: An Overview and History of California

Water Resources Development

[Word]  [PDF]

Brian Gray & Jeff Mount, Floods, Droughts, and Lawsuits: A Brief History of California Water Policy (2011)

Robert Kunzig, The Drying of the West, National Geographic (August 2011)

Thomas Kostigen, Could California's Drought Last 200 Years?, National Geographic (February 2014)

August 29th : The Riparian System

Assignment 3: The Historical Development of the Law of Riparian Rights

[Word]  [PDF]

September 3rd : The Riparian System

Assignment 4: The Modern Law of Riparian Rights

[Word]  [PDF]

September 5th: Prior Appropriation

Assignment 5: Introduction to the Law of Prior Appropriation

[Word]  [PDF]

September 10th: Modern Appropriation Systems

Assignment 6: Elements of the Modern Law of Prior Appropriation

and a First Look at the Doctrine of Reasonable Use

[Word]  [PDF]

September 12th: The Reasonable Use Doctrine

Assignment 7: Evolution of the Doctrine of Reasonable Use

in California Water Law: 1855-1967

[Word]  [PDF]

September 17th: The Reasonable Use Doctrine

Assignment 8: Joslin v. Marin Municipal Water District and the

Modern Era in California Water Law

[Word]  [PDF]

September 19th: The Reasonable Use Doctrine

Assignment 9: The Doctrine of Waste and Unreasonable Use

[Word]  [PDF]

September 24th: Modern Water Rights Administration

Assignment 10: The Permit System and the Role of the

California State Water Resources Control Board

[Word]  [PDF]

September 26th: No Class

We will not have class today, as I will be giving a lecture at Stanford University.  

We will have a two-hour makeup session, however, from 9:40-11:50 on Wednesday,

October 1st, which is a "Stretch Day."

October 1st: Prescriptive Rights in a Modern Administrative System

Assgnment 11: Prescriptive Rights

[Word]  [PDF]

October 3rd: Statutory Adjudications and Dormant Riparian Rights

Assgnment 12: The Statutory Adjudication and the

Problem of Dormant Riparian Rights

[Word]  [PDF]

October 8th: The Public Trust Doctrine and the Mono Lake Litigation

Assgnment 13: The Public Trust Doctrine as a Limitation on Water Rights:

National Audubon Society v. Superior Court

[Word]  [PDF]

October 10th: Section 5937 and the Restoration of Mono Lake

and the San Joaquin River

Assgnment 14: The Restoration of Mono Lake and the San Joaquin River:

Section 5937 of the Fish and Game Code

[Word]  [PDF]

October 15th: No Class

We will not have class today, as I have been called for jury duty.

October 17th: Instream Appropriative Water Rights

Assgnment 15: Instream Water Rights and Other Protections for In Situ Uses

[Word]  [PDF]

October 22nd: Groundwater Rights

Assignment 16: Introduction to the Law of Groundwater

[Word]  [PDF]

October 24th: Groundwater Rights

Assignment 17: The Los Angeles Groundwater Adjudication

[Word]  [PDF]

October 29th: Groundwater Rights

Assignment 18: The Mojave Basin Adjudication and the

Future of California (Ground) Water Rights Law

[Word]  [PDF]

Erica Gies, California's Underground Water War, The Atlantic, Aug. 28, 2014

October 31st: No Class

We will not have class today, as the school is closed because of the city-wide celebration of the

Giants' World Series Victory!

November 5th: Groundwater Rights

There is no additional reading for today.

November 7th: Water Transfers

Assignment 19: Introduction to the Law of Water Transfers

[Word]  [PDF]

November 12th: Water Transfers

Assignment 20: The Imperial Irrigation-Metropolitan Water District

Water Transfer and Beyond

[Word]  [PDF]

Preserving an Accident, the Salton Sea in California, for the Good of Nature

N.Y. Times, Nov. 9, 2014

Supplemental Reading

Assignment 21: Water Transfers: Enlightened Environmentalism

or Fear and Loathing of the Market?

[Word]  [PDF]

November 14th: The Bay-Delta Controversy

Both of these final assignments are optional reading.

Assignment 22: The Bay-Delta Controversy:

United States v. State Water Resources Control Board

[Word]  [PDF]

Assignment 23: The Bay-Delta Controversy:

SWRCB Hearings and the Rise of Federal Authority Over California Water Policy

[Word]  [PDF]

November 19th: Final Class

Ellen Hanak and Jeff Mount of the Public Policy Institute of California will join us for a

wide-ranging discussion of the present and future challenges of California water resources policy.