Interstate water disputes have long been a mainstay of the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction, the traditional forum for sovereign states to resolve their water wars peaceably. For over a century, these remained disputes between sovereigns: until 2010, when the Court permitted a private power company to intervene in such a dispute. The decision was an affront to state sovereign control of water resources, but its implications reach beyond dignitary concerns. Under the public trust doctrine, states have long held a fiduciary responsibility to allocate water resources within their borders in the interests of their citizens. As global climate change and the increasing demands of energy production continue to stress America’s water resources, the Court’s decision will further complicate states’ efforts to enact sound water policy for the future.
Logan Starr, The High Court Wades into State-Law Water Allocation , 62 Duke LawJournal 1425-1462 (2013).
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/dlj/vol62/iss7/4