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Legal issues with America’s water supply focus of ABA conference in Las Vegas


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Legal issues with America’s water supply focus of ABA conference in Las Vegas

By John Glynn

WASHINGTON, May 28, 2014 — Jared Blumenfeld, Environmental Protection Agency’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest, will speak at the 32nd Annual Water Law Conference hosted by the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources on June 4 – 6 at the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas.

32nd Annual Water Law Conference
Sponsored by the ABA Section of Environment,
Energy and Resources

June 4 – 6

Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa
11011 W. Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89135

Blumenfeld will give keynote remarks about aging water infrastructure and the opportunity for green infrastructure and low impact development at a luncheon beginning at 12:15 p.m. June 5. Later that day, Fritz Holleman, deputy solicitor for water resources at the Department of the Interior, will give keynote remarks at 2:45 p.m. on the latest federal legal issues affecting water users, including interstate water agreements, environmental compliance matters and interpretation of water-related statutes and contracts.

Environmental officials and representatives from the Department of Justice and the National Congress of American Indians will discuss emerging issues on water law enforcement. Officials will address interstate water resources allocation, the future of climate change regulation, implications of hydraulic fracturing on eastern and western water basins, and the latest tribal water settlement developments.

Program highlights include:

Thursday, June 5

“Water Basins in Crisis: The Role of the Federal Government in Basin-Wide Water Management” — This panel will examine the crisis on the Colorado River Basin and discuss the role of the federal government in basin-wide water management, especially in interstate and international water basins. Speakers will also address the role of climate change, interstate conflicts, international concerns, tribal issues and federal water rights.
9:15 – 10:30 a.m.

“Legal Issues with Drinking Water Infrastructure” James Salzman, Samuel F. Mordecai Professor of Law and Nicholas Institute Professor of Environmental Policy at Duke University, will deliver a keynote address on the legal framework associated with the United States’ drinking water infrastructure, including how the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and numerous water project and supply laws affect the availability and quality of drinking water.
12:45 – 1:30 p.m.

“What’s New With Constitutional Takings and Water?” — This session will provide an overview of constitutional rights in the context of water rights. Panelists will discuss recent water rights takings decisions and address the difference between physical and regulatory takings of water rights for public use. Speakers include Katherine J. Barton, litigation lawyer for the DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division; John D. Echeverria, professor of law at Vermont Law School; and Roger J. Marzulla, partner at Marzulla Law and former assistant attorney general of the DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

“State-Federal-Tribal Interaction in Settlements” — Panelists, including Pamela Williams, director of the Department of the Interior’s Secretary’s Indian Water Rights Office, will discuss the emerging challenges of state-federal-tribal settlements, including federal funding concerns and difficulties in passing stand-alone settlement legislation.
3:45 – 5 p.m.

“Water, Energy, Climate Change and New Regulation” — This panel will review the state and federal climate change laws and regulations that affect water use, allocation and quality in the context of climate and energy policies. Panelists will also discuss the Environmental Protection Agency’s new climate change adaptation policies and address the potential implications of state laws for water resource management.
3:45 – 5 p.m.

A complete agenda can be found online.

This event is free and open to the members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Maria Gutierrez at 202-662-1091 or

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. To review our privacy statement, click here. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.

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