Course DescriptionThe course in Water Law traditionally emphasizes state law rules that govern rights to use surface water and groundwater throughout the country. Although we give ample attention to the prior appropriation doctrine, riparian water rights, and various systems for regulating groundwater use, this course also emphasizes how federal law may impact water rights. Increasingly, environmentalists and others claims that there are public rights to water that may take precedence over even rights under the prior appropriation system. There is a saying about water that it "flows uphill to wealth and power." We attempt to understand how politics and economics shapes water law doctrines. In this case, we also draw on the science of hydrology, which sheds light on the important contemporary problem of how groundwater pumping interferes with surface flows and often devastates riparian habitats. We also examine the struggle over how to allocate Colorado River water, which has a long history but contemporary ramifications. We also consider the role of federal law, particularly federal reserved water rights claimed by Indian tribes, and the federal government's long history of attempting to irrigate the West through its Bureau of Reclamation. This latter topic concludes with analysis of the Central Arizona Project. Finally, we briefly consider how environmental concerns over water quality may on occasion impact water quantity allocation decisions and water rights.