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Water Rights & Resources

This collection focuses on the various uses for water, from hydropower, to agriculture, to drinking water, and how increasing pressures on water supply from climate change exacerbates historical tensions over who has access to water for what purpose.

Additional Resources

Center for Water Law & Policy

The Texas Tech Center for Water Law & Policy is committed to finding legal solutions to secure current water resources. Its work utilizes  law, science, and economics to solve water problems in ways that respect all use sectors while protecting the environment. Its website provides information on its work through publications, presentations, and symposium. 

Introduction to Water Law

This blog post from the Law Library of Congress provides an overview of water law in the United States, touching on riparian rights, prior appropriation doctrine, and reserved rights doctrine, with links to resources available within the Library of Congress for further research.

Public Rights in Water

This research guide from Florida State University College of Law provides resources helping researchers explore the ways in which water law preserves the general rights of the public to use water — for navigation, for commerce, for recreation, for culture, and for environmental purposes.

Riparian Rights

This resource guide from Pace Law Library explains riparian rights as they exist in New York, Colorado, and California.

Southwest Water Resources

This resource guide from the New Mexico State Library provides information on researching all things water in the southwest, with tabs on the following topics: water rights, drought information, public works, water quality, and water supply.

Water at Berkeley Law

Established in 2012 at the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE) at Berkeley Law, the Wheeler Water Institute conducts projects at the intersection of law, policy and science. The Institute's website provides reports on its work in the areas of groundwater, water allocation, water innovation, data and decision-making, access and affordability, and water quality and ecosystems.

Water Law (ASU)

This research guide from Arizona State University College of Law provides information on researching federal and Arizona water law. The guide includes both primary and secondary sources, including links to Arizona government agencies. Some book resources on this guide link to Ross-Blakley Library catalog records, which provide information about location and availability of items in the ASU Library collection.

Water Law (Texas Tech)

This research guide from Texas Tech University School of Law provides a comprehensive overview of water law, with a glossary of terms and definitions, links to secondary sources, and search tips.

Water Law - International Resources

This research guide from Texas A&M School of Law provides information on researching international water law, with links to international organizations involved in the codification of international water law, international agreements, and resolutions and declarations. 

American Rivers

American Rivers is a river conservation organization founded in 1973. They work to create clean and healthy rivers, restoring fish and wildlife habitat. 

History of the Clean Water Act

This page from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides a brief history of the Clean Water Act, with links to further reading on the Act and the work of the EPA.

Flint Water Advisory Task Force Final Report

This 116-page report was issued by the flint Water Advisory Task Force in 2016 in response to the Flint Water Crisis. The report investigates the cause of the crisis, the government's failure to adequately respond to the crisis, and recommendations for action.

Safe Drinking Water Act

This webpage from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides information on the Safe Drinking Water Act, including an overview of the law and the regulations in place under the Act.


United Nations Water coordinates the efforts of United Nations entities and international organizations working on water and sanitation issues. Over 30 UN organizations carry out water and sanitation programs, reflecting the fact that water issues run through all of the UN’s main focus areas. UN-Water’s role is to coordinate so that the UN family ‘delivers as one’ in response to water related challenges.

Waterkeeper Alliance

Waterkeeper Alliance is a non-profit that serves to connect worldwide Waterkeeper groups to create drinkable, fishable, swimmable water everywhere.