Media Advisory: WVU College of Law to host water use forum Oct. 2-3
* WHO :* Nationally-renowned water law scholars such as: Dan Tarlock of Chicago-Kent College of Law, Joseph Dellapena of Villanova University School of Law, Lee Breckenridge of Northeastern University School of Law, and Robert Beck of Southern Illinois University School of Law
* WHAT :* “Water Issues in the Appalachian Region,”a free public forum, to advance understanding of water issues in West Virginia, one of only four of the 31 eastern states that does not have water use laws in place.
* WHEN :* Thursday and Friday, Oct. 2-3; Thursday sessions begin at 1:30 p.m. and Fridays events start at 9 a.m.
* WHERE :* West Virginia University College of Law Lugar Court Room.
* NOTES :* There will be a MULT box in the Courtroom each day, and the front few rows of Courtroom seating at the right will be reserved for media.
Interviews will be held at the end of each day; a media room has been set up in Law Center Room 162
Parking for media is available in Areas 42 and 76
Descriptions of water forum lectures attached. For more information, go to: http://www.wvu.edu/~law/lr/wvalrev.htm .
(The first day features lectures by the water law scholars. The following day, panelists will debate topics including clean water for human consumption; intrastate water warspersonal versus industrial use; and crossing boundariesinternational and interstate transport and sale of water. The event will conclude with a session on planning for the future, identifying potential West Virginia legislative actions.)
Water Forum Lectures
The Oct. 2-3”Water Issues in the Appalachian Region”forum lectures will include:
Water Resources in the Appalachian Region (Thursday, 1:40-2 p.m.) Presented by Robert Behling, professor of geology, WVU
Eastern Water Law Reform: The Broader Context (Thursday, 2-3 p.m.)
A 21st Century Permit System for West Virginia: The Relevant Issues (Friday, 9-9:45 a.m.)
Dan Tarlock will offer two lectures. The first will focus on the key legal issues including”ownership of water in trust for the people,”an effective permit system that balances individual user security and the public interest, integrated ground and surface management, and integrated water quantity and quality control. The second will examine the pros and cons of reliance on the common law, with emphasis on West Virginia law. Tarlock will offer some specific alternative permit and management systems for the state to consider.
Adapting Riparian Rights to the Needs of the Twenty-First Century (Thursday, 3-3:45 p.m.)
Joseph Dellapena will discuss three models of water lawcommon law property, appropriative rights, and regulated riparianismdescribing their strengths and weaknesses. He will propose an approach to adapting riparianismthe old law of riparian rightto the needs of the twenty-first century by enactment of a regulated riparian system.
Maintaining In-stream Flow and Protecting Aquatic Habitat: The Promise and Perils of Regulated Riparianism (Thursday, 4-4:45 p.m.)
Lee Breckenridge will address the legal protection of in-stream flows in riparian jurisdictions, with a particular focus on the challenges of determining and maintaining the seasonal water levels required for the survival of indigenous aquatic organisms. She will note that some states, such as Massachusetts, have adopted statutory systems to replace common law riparian principles, adopting ideas set forth in model water rights legislation. For example, MassachusettsWater Management Act features key provisions for registering existing water withdrawals, permitting new withdrawals based on consideration of”public interest”criteria, and ensuring that the”safe yield”of water supplies is not exceeded. Such statutory systems stand in contrast to common law riparian systems as West Virginias.
Water and Coal Mining: Applying the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) and the Clean Water Act to Mountain Top Mining (Thursday, 4:45-5:30 p.m.)
Robert Beck will discuss legal ramifications of the effects of coal mining in the Appalachian region on the water resource. He will focus on the planning and prevention demands of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 and the Federal Clean Water Act. The presentation will include a discussion of several issues that have appeared in recent court cases arising out of West Virginia and Kentucky.