Legal Aspects of Weather Modification

by Palmer King,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1969, Vol. 95, Issue 3, Pg. 403-408

Document Type: Journal Paper


Weather modification activities produce some interesting legal problems. The problems can be divided into three areas: liability, asserting ownership to increased runoff, and the role of Government. The claimant has thus far been unable to prove that whatever damages he may have suffered resulted from anything the weather modifier did. However, liability is an ever-present threat to the weather modifier. Existing laws give the additional water to whoever expends his time and means to create the increased runoff. The problem is establishing with reasonable certainty the amount of increased water supply attributable to the modifier's efforts. The Federal Government has broad authority under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution to legislate with regard to weather modification. Due to the unique nature of the weather modification science, existing legal analogies generally appear deficient in one way or another.

Subject Headings: Legal affairs | Liability | Runoff | Federal government | Government | Water policy | Water supply | Legislation

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