August 27, 2019

Introduction - 2019 ABA Water Resources Law Student Writing Competition

The Water Resources Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 ABA Water Resources Law Student Writing Competition.

Our first-place article, written by Matthew LaRue, analyzes the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act as it has been interpreted throughout the years and the current debate over the Act’s reach. In his article, Mr. LaRue discusses the link between commerce and the Clean Water Act and suggests that a new interpretation of navigable waters that includes that all commercial waters could bring a much-needed change to the existing legal framework.

Our second-place article, written by Heather Foxx, discusses whether the Clean Water Act should apply to discharges into groundwater. In her article, Ms. Foxx examines the recent case Hawai'i Wildlife Fund v. Cty. of Maui, the federal circuit court split, and interpretations by the U.S. EPA. She concludes by analyzing which of these interpretations most closely aligns with the original purpose and intent of the Clean Water Act.

And our third-place article, written by Zachariah Sibley, discusses the history of agricultural drainage laws, the problems the existing legal regime causes for downstream land, crops, and water resources, and some potential solutions. In his article, Mr. Sibley explains why a cap-and-trade system would provide the most efficient solution to minimize downstream harms from agricultural drainage.

Congratulations to our winners and thanks again to everyone who entered the competition. We hope you enjoy reading the winning entries as much as we did.