Preparing a Model Water Code: Reform or Restatement?

by Ray Jay Davis, Brigham Young Univ, Provo, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management and Urban Water Resources


In preparing a model state water code, there is tension between (1) advocating sweeping water law reform, and (2) merely eliminating overlapping code coverages, filling gaps, updating provisions, and otherwise restating the law. One one hand, there is a quest for the 'perfect law;' but on the other, there is an awareness that in the interface between water resources management and legislative action a restatement is more likely to be enacted. State codes vary from the comprehensive to the incomplete, but each state law has provisions which can be adapted to use elsewhere and which, if adopted along with existing water laws, will result in considering water laws from a broad cross-section of jurisdictions. Provisions incorporated in the code should be practical, comprehensive, fair to all groups affected, administratively efficient and (to the extent possible given different geographic and historical considerations) uniform. A series of code drafts will be prepared with input from engineering, legal and other professionals who work with state water laws. The drafts will be reviewed and re-written in order to arrive at a model code which will be used to improve state laws while retaining their present substance.

Subject Headings: Water resources | Hydrologic models | Standards and codes | Water supply | Resource management | Tension | Cross sections | Jurisdiction

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