From Whose Drop Is It, Anyway? Legal Issues Surrounding Our Nation’s Water Resources, edited by Megan Baroni, published by the American Bar Association, April 2011
The American Bar Association (ABA) has assembled an impressive cast of contributors to present a fairly nimble read of water rights in the modern era. Why would Louisiana lawyers be interested in water rights, beyond drainage and public use issues, when Louisiana is bounded by a sea of plenty and, at times, a riverine deluge?
The reasons are time and climate change. We are being watched by envious eyes. Water is a strategic asset. Some eastern state areas (e.g., Atlanta, Ga.) that are troubled with drought, as well as states nearby (Alabama and Texas) and western states (e.g., Nevada), may be forced to look upon diverting upstream river flows to address their problems. Climate change may cause rising sea levels which can create a saltwater wedge to our drinking water supplies. Water allocation agreements are on the rise in Louisiana where water distribution is not equal. Northern Louisiana has fears of groundwater depletion which led to enhanced legislation in 2008. The stage is set for Mark Twain’s attribution that “whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting…”