John Draper Chairs Panel on Transboundary Groundwater at ABA Water Law Conference

March 29, 2016


John Draper moderated today a panel discussion entitled "Interstate Water Management of a 'Hidden' Resource" at the American Bar Association's 34th Annual Water Law Conference in Austin, Texas.


Panelists include Paul Barlow, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, Burke Griggs, an attorney with the Office of the Kansas Attorney General, and Todd Votteler, the Executive Manager of Science, Intergovernmental Relations and Policy of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority.


The panel discussed the hydrology, legal precedents, and stakeholder interests at issue in interestate groundwater disputes.  While the U.S. Supreme Court has been apportioning interstate surface waters since the early 1900s, before now it has not been asked to determine the principles by which interstate groundwaters should be allocated.  In 2015, however, the Court agreed to hear Mississippi's case against Tennessee over Tennessee's pumping from an aquifer common to both States.  The Court will be called upon to decide the principles for allocating interstate groundwater.  Mississippi alleges a strict ownership theory, while Tennessee asserts that the principles of equitable apportionment should apply.


For more information about the ABA Water Law Conference, click here.

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