Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Faculty Publication: Greg Hicks on Tensions in Water Law

Gregory A. Hicks, Acequias of the South-Western US in Tension with State Water Laws, in Out of the Mainstream: Water Rights, Politics and Identity 223-34 (Rutgerd Boelens, David Getches & Armando Guevara Gil eds., Earthscan Publications 2010).

Professor Hicks' chapter addresses:

the history of the problematic relationship between state-centered
governance of water in Colorado and New Mexico, US, and the historic Hispano irrigation institutions that have operated there since before the area became part of the US. This history has much to say about the complex relationship between local cultures of water and the imperatives of state-centered agendas for the use and allocation of water.

A centuries-old tradition of community regulation of water flow for irrigation, the acequia reinforced mutual commitments and water allocation based on need. With Western settlement came the imposition of prior appropriation, "which allocates water priority in conditions of scarcity to the first-in-time beneficial users."

New Mexico acknowledged acequia rights; Colorado did not.

Professor Hicks reviews related historical and legal developments and their implications.

The Law Library copy of this book is in the Classified Stacks at HD1691.O98 2010.

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