The U.S. Supreme Court is the court of last resort regarding federal water issues. These issues include both resolution of what the federal Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. §§ 1251-1388, means and how it applies and of certain aspects of water law, including tribal water rights and interstate water disputes.
The Supreme Court currently has before it a number of water cases, and it is likely to have before it several others in the near future. These cases may decide the scope of the Clean Water Act's "waters of the United States," the apportionment of surface water among eastern states for the first time in over 80 years, whether groundwater is similarly apportionable among states and how, and the meaning and continuing applicability of interstate water compacts.
However, the Court has also recently refused to review some arguably novel issues. For example, western courts upheld tribal water rights in groundwater for the first time, and the Supreme Court let those decisions stand by refusing to grant certiorari to review them.
This webinar will provide participants with an overview of these current Supreme Court decisions regarding water. The discussion will include an overview of the relevant law involved, including Clean Water Act jurisdiction, interstate water law, and the law of tribal water rights, making it accessible to water law novices as well as informative to experienced practitioners.