James D. Ellis


Until relatively recent years water rights legislation and litigation has primarily centered in the seventeen arid and semi-arid western states. However, as a result of increased demands on water resources for agricultural, industrial, recreational and public uses, the more humid and traditionally water rich states of the East have expressed concern for and interest in the conservation and regulation of their water resources. A significant number of these states have departed from the common law riparian theory of water use law and have enacted comprehensive regulatory measures, modeled after the water acts common in the western states. In accordance with this trend there appears to be an increasing interest in Missouri in state regulation and control of water uses and rights. The purpose of this paper is to consider the constitutionality of a comprehensive water use act in Missouri.

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