Dr. Lara Fowler from Penn State University and Dr. Beth Kinne from Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Climate change poses significant challenges for water policy makers. Environmental law and water law are structured to treat issues of water pollution and temporary shortage, but poorly equipped to deal with increasingly rapid changes in the hydrological cycle that the existing forms of law have assumed to be nearly constant. Since 1990, many eastern U.S states have seen significant threats to water quantity for the first time in recorded history. At the same time as spatial and temporal distribution of water is changing, demands for water for municipal use, agricultural use and energy production are increasing, further threatening the predictability and availability of the resource. Eastern states have responded by adopting new regulations for both riparian and groundwater resources. However, increased regulation of natural resources can threaten vested interests, making passage and implementation of new natural resource regulation politically challenging. This webinar will analyze recent state regulatory initiatives and court cases in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut to illustrate some of hurdles water law reform faces in meeting the challenge of climate change and the accompanying evolution of water distribution, and suggest possible ways that state governments might overcome these hurdles.
Where: the live webinar can be viewed at https://meeting.psu.edu/water1