Understanding the Law and Policy of California Interstate Waters

California's interstate waters play an important role in understanding California water law and policy. Unlike other states, California has multiple interstate rivers and lakes, including the Colorado River, the Klamath River, Lake Tahoe and Truckee River, Carson River and Walker River. Each of these river systems has a unique body of law that influences California in different ways. How these laws work are very different than the legal systems allocating water for intrastate rivers, like the Sacramento River. This class will explore the overlapping issues and complexities of each of these interstate rivers, including why rivers are important to California, how river water is allocated, and how the environment and various communities are affected by the allocations, including cities, farms and tribes. The class will cover important legal concepts concerning interstate rivers, including interstate compacts, allocations by congressional statute, tribal reserved water rights, endangered species law, water rights adjudications and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorities.

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