Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Event Date



Summer Conference (8th: 1987: Boulder, Colo.)


Conference organizers and/or faculty included University of Colorado School of Law professors Lawrence J. MacDonnell, David H. Getches, and Charles F. Wilkinson.

This conference focused on the legal rights associated with a broad range of public uses and interests in water including recreation, fish and wildlife protection, and water quality. Evolving legal areas such as the public trust doctrine, instream flow laws, federal reserved rights, and wetlands protection were discussed.

Water as a Public Resource: Emerging Rights and Obligations considered the extension of the public trust doctrine to areas previously not covered by this concept, as well as developments in other public uses of water. Subheadings included "Recreational Uses of Water," "Public Rights in Water Allocation and Use," and "The Public's Interest in Water Quality." Among the 27 knowledgeable speakers, three helped frame the debate the first morning. Charles J. Meyers, of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Denver, spoke "In Defense of Private Rights in Water," while Ralph W. Johnson, Professor of Law, University of Washington, and Joseph L. Sax, Professor of Law, University of California-Berkeley, presented the case for increasing public values in water. Colorado Governor Roy Romer was wrap-up speaker for the 3-day conference, attended by 133 people from 19 states and the District of Columbia.


Betsy Levin, James N. Corbridge, Jr.

Alternate Title

Emerging Rights and Obligations