April 2017
CLEE and the Water and Power Law Group PC have won the 2017 Imagine H20 California Water Policy Challenge, for a proposal for modernizing California's water rights and use database. The statewide contest was judged by an independent panel of California water experts, who praised the idea's "potential to facilitate a paradigm shift" for California water.

Water rights records stored at the Merced County courthouse. Photo by Leigh Bernacchi
Currently, legal records pertaining to California water rights are housed as 10 million pages of paper files at the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). The records are not indexed for search by author, date, or topics, and records for pre-1914 water rights are scattered throughout 58 county courthouses and other repositories. Thus, the SWRCB and stakeholders cannot effectively review legal records necessary to evaluate relative priorities among water rights in a given watershed, to resolve conflicts or to manage shortages. 

Meanwhile, SB 88 enables the SWRCB to require real-time reporting of water use and diversion data by water users. The Board will only enforce this requirement, however, if it is able to effectively assimilate and analyze the data collected.

An accurate accounting of water rights will empower more effective and sustainable management of statewide water resources. A goal of the proposed water information system is to provide enabling capacity for decision making informed by real-time data in an era in which California frequently faces systemic shortages and conflicts.

Please contact us if you would like more information, or if you would like to be involved in a stakeholder process as we examine the potential to make this idea a reality. 
Also see our Policy Brief and our Legal Planet blog post.

Implementation Plan

Faculty + Staff
In the News

As Tesla briefly surpassed GM as the most valuable automaker in the US last week, Ethan Elkind joined KQED Forum for a discussion of the future of electric vehicles and the barriers to their broader implementation.  

With Justice Neil Gorsuch officially taking his seat on the Supreme Court this week, Prof. Dan Farber writes in  The Daily Californian that there may be reasons to be optimistic. 

A course for international law students co-taught by Jordan Diamond examines how sub-national entities can play a greater role in achieving our collective climate goals and is discussed on Capital Public Radio

On our Legal Planet blog, Prof. Eric Biber writes about what California may be able to do to retain public  ownership of federal lands in an administration that looks more favorably on private ownership.
  2017 ELQ Annual Banquet    

Near the end of each school year, the members of Berkeley Law's student-run environmental law journal, Ecology Law Quarterly (ELQ), host a banquet to honor the graduating class of environmental law students, announce awards for excellence in student writing, and officially transition the leadership of the journal.

In addition, ELQ presents the Environmental Achievement Award to a distinguished leader in the field. This year's recipient, Mr. John Cruden, provided passionate remarks on the history of the environmental movement in the United States and advice on how to unite to battle the unprecedented environmental challenges we face today.

We hope to see you next year at the 2018 Banquet!

Speaker and Environmental Achievement Award recipient John Cruden stands alongside CLEE Executive Director Jordan Diamond and ELQ leadership Taylor Ann Whittemore '17 (co-EIC), Caitlin Brown '17 (co-EIC), and Melanie Ramey '17 (Managing Editor). 

The reception area begins to fill up at the International House auditorium before the banquet 

Wil Mumby '18 receives the Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger Land Use & Local Government Writing Award, presented  by Heather Minner '07

Jordan Diamond '08 catches up with ELQ's founding Editor-in-Chief Bill Chamberlain '71 at the banquet reception

Supporting CLEE

We would not be able to continue our research and education initiatives absent the generosity of our supporters.  Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who have already given.

If you are interested in contributing to our work, please donate via the online link below or contact us to discuss other options and naming opportunities.  

The Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) channels the creativity and expertise of the Berkeley community into pragmatic policy solutions to critical environmental and energy issues.  


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