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.

Assigned Readings

January 12th: 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

January 16th: 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)

January 26th: The Basic Surface Water Rights Systems

Assignment 3: Riparian Rights

[Word]  [PDF]

Assignment 4: Prior Appropriation

[Word]  [PDF]

February 2nd: Article X, Section 2 of the California Constitution

Assignment 5: The Reasonable and Beneficial Use Doctrines

[Word]  [PDF]

Brian E. Gray, The Reasonable Use Doctrine in California Water Law and Policy (2015)

February 9th: The Public Trust Doctrine

Assignment 6: The Public Trust Doctrine as a Limitation on Water Rights:

National Audubon Society v. Superior Court

[Word]  [PDF]

Assignment 7: The Restoration of Mono Lake and the San Joaquin River:

Section 5937 of the Fish and Game Code

[Word]  [PDF]

Louis Sahagun, New Dust-Busting Method Ends L.A.'s Longtime Feud with Owens Valley

L.A. Times, Nov. 14, 2014

February 16th: Groundwater Rights and Regulation

Assignment 8: Introduction to the Law of Groundwater: Basic Principles

and the Doctrine of Mutual Prescription

[Word]  [PDF]

Assignment 9: The Mojave Basin Adjudication and the Future of California

(Ground) Water Rights Law

[Word] [PDF]

Dennis Dimick, If You Think the Water Crisis Can't Get Worse, Wait Until the Aquifers Are Drained

National Geographic, Aug. 19, 2014

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

February 23rd: Water Transfers and the Future of California

Water Law and Policy

Assignment 10: The Imperial Irrigation-Metropolitan Water District

and the IID-San Diego Water Transfers

[Word]  [PDF]

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

N.Y. Times, Nov. 9, 2014

Optional Reading: The Bay-Delta Controversy

Both of these sets of materials are purely optional reading for those of you who are especially interested in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River and Delta System.  The New York Times article is short, informative, and provides a nice overview of the contemporary problems that beset the Delta Ecosystem.

The Bay-Delta Controversy:

United States v. State Water Resources Control Board

[Word]  [PDF]

The Bay-Delta Controversy:

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

[Word]  [PDF]

Kate Galbraith, Threatened Smelt Touches Off Battles in California’s Endless Water Wars

New York Times, Feb. 14, 2015