T. E. Lauer


The solution to the water problem must involve one or more of several limited alternatives. We must either: (1) develop new sources of water; (2) reduce our per capita water use; (3) stop our population growth; or (4) use our present supply of water more efficiently. Any solution will draw heavily upon science and technology. Through them we will learn to remove the salt from ocean water, to purify polluted waters, to distribute water economically over great distances, and to reduce the waste and even the use of water. It is clear that the law will create no new water. But it may either act as a positive force to bring about a more beneficial use of the existing water supply or it may block progress and hinder development of more beneficial uses and thereby contribute to the waste of this vital resource. It has been charged that the existing water law in the Eastern States, the doctrine of riparian rights, not only falls short of being optimum but is actively harmful because it prevents the full beneficial use of water. To what extent are these charges true?

Included in

Law Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.