Water issues remain at the forefront of concerns facing agricultural professionals. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Army recently announced they are proposing a rule to rescind the Clean Water Rule and re-codify the regulatory text that existed prior to 2015 defining “waters of the United States” or WOTUS. (The pre-publication version of the proposed rule is available here).
Additionally, Colorado Congressman Scott Tipton recently reintroduced the Water Rights Protection Act, a bill that would prevent federal agencies from requiring certain entities to relinquish their water rights to the United States in order to use public lands. Tipton told the Vail Daily, “”In recent years, the federal government has repeatedly attempted to circumvent long-established state water law by requiring the transfer of privately-held water rights to the federal government as a permit condition for use of land owned by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. These efforts constitute a gross federal overreach and violation of private property rights.”
Of course, a fundamental understanding of water law is helpful when considering these issues. The essentials of water law and more will be discussed Wednesday, July 19, at 12 noon (ET) when the Agriculture and Food Law Consortium presents a free webinar, “The Basics of Water Law and Its Relationship to Agriculture.”
This webinar will consider the basics of water law in the United States, discussing both the basic framework in the West and the basic framework in the East. Policies and exceptions that are particularly important to agriculture, such as exempt wells in the West and regulated riparianism in the East, are explained. Finally, miscellaneous issues that may arise in the agricultural context are explored. Congressional staffers, attorneys, students, and ag professionals seeking additional understanding of emerging issues in water law will want to attend.
Details on this free webinar, including sign-in information, are available here.