I begin with a quote demonstrating the importance of water.
“Water is essential for all dimensions of life. Over the past few decades, use of water has increased, and in many places water availability is falling to crisis levels. More than eighty countries, with forty percent of the world’s population, are already facing water shortages, while by year 2020 the world’s population will double. The costs of water infrastructure have risen dramatically. The quality of water in rivers and underground has deteriorated, due to pollution by waste and contaminants from cities, industry and agriculture. Ecosystems are being destroyed, sometimes permanently. Over one billion people lack safe water, and three billion lack sanitation; eighty per cent of infectious diseases are waterborne, killing millions of children each year.”
World Bank Institute
WATER POLICY REFORM PROGRAM – Nov. 1999
Water Law is an extremely complex area of law which encompasses concerns over use rights, environmental issues, public and private distribution all of which have substantial impact on the population of this planet. In the United States our drinking water is available from many sources, including rivers. Water rights allow various parties to use water up and down stream. Water is cleaned and used for drinking water but also effluence from industrial uses and sewage treatment facilities are, after being cleaned, released back into rivers.
Water law controls rights, usage, and consumption all of which are important to protect this valuable resource.