Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

272.1 sec. 001 - Water Law (Spring 2020)

Instructor: Paul Kibel  
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Units: 3

Due to COVID-19, law school classes were graded as credit/no pass in spring 2020.


    M 3:35 PM - 6:15 PM
    Location: Law 145
    From January 13, 2020
    To April 28, 2020

Course Start: January 13, 2020
Course End: April 28, 2020
Class Number: 32188

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 21
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 24
As of: 06/16 11:02 PM

Water is a unique resource for which the law has developed unique doctrines. This class will concentrate on the allocation of rights to divert water from natural waterways for human use, and regulatory limitations on those rights. We will cover the historical development and modern formulation of both the riparian water system typical of the eastern U.S. and the appropriative water rights system typical of the west. We will examine overlying and non-overlying groundwater rights, and the relationship of such groundwater rights to California's 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. A key theme explored in the class will be the tension between rights to divert surface waters out of stream and impound water instream (on the one hand) and rights to keep water flowing instream (on the other hand), with an examination of the sources of law (public trust doctrine, reasonable use doctrine, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act) that provide for adequate instream flows. The course will also consider the Law of the Colorado River, with a survey of sources of international law pertaining the allocation of the Colorado River between Mexico and the United States. The semester will close with an examination of the effects of climate change on water resources and water rights, and the relationship of water rights to constitutional provisions establishing the government's obligation to pay just compensation of the taking of property.

Requirements Satisfaction:

This is an Option 1 class; two Option 1 classes fulfill the J.D. writing requirement.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
Course Category: Environmental and Energy Law

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A reader will be used in this class.

Required Books are in blue

  • Cadillac Desert (Rev & Upd)
    Edition: 1993
    ISBN: 9780140178241
    e-Book Available: unknown
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: $20.00
    Price Source: user provided
  • Legal Control of Water Resources (Casebook)
    Edition: 6th 2019
    ISBN: 9781683289838
    e-Book Available: unknown
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: 241.00
    Price Source: user provided

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