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Law and Science: Water Law


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‚ÄčAgricola is a National Agricultural Library database, provides access to articles and books from 1970 to the present.

Environment Complete
This database has articles published worldwide on topics such as natural resources, marine & freshwater science, pollution management, environmental technology, public policy, and social impacts.

GeoRef provides access to U.S. and Canadian articles, books, conference proceedings, technical reports, and more on topics such as hydrology and oceanography.

Google Scholar  
Google Scholar allows searching of multidisciplinary scholarly literature including articles, papers, books, abstracts, and technical reports from a wide variety of resources.

PAIS Index
PAIS INdex is a searchable database of articles dealing with public affairs, public and social policies, and international relations.

You can search for additional resources through the following database subject list: Sustainability and Environment.


State Water Departments:

National Conference of State Legislatures – Water Law Resources
This resource from the National Conference of State Legislatures includes a database of state rainwater harvesting laws and legislation.

Arizona v. California online collection from the University of Colorado Law Library has the full-text of documents such as pleadings, briefs, and transcripts from the Arizona v. California litigation over the use of Colorado River basin water.


Congressional Research Service Reports   
CRS provides research and analysis for Congress. Although there is no comprehensive source for this useful resource, the National Agricultural Law Center has a compilation of CRS reports dealing with water law. is a source for all federal bills, regardless of whether they have been enacted. It includes links to accompanying committee reports and House and Senate debates published in the Congressional Record. This web site also provides easy access to bills from the current Congress organized by topic.

EPA Water Division 
One useful aspect of this EPA web site is its regulatory information organized by topic.  You can also view water entries in EPA's blogs and subscribe to EPA's Water News.

Federal Register 
The Federa Register contains notices of proposed and final rulemaking that federal agencies are required to publish, as well as other documents. This web site organizes the Federal Register by subject.

HeinOnline’s Federal Legislative History Library (available on campus or remotely with ASURITE)
This HeinOnline resource includes documents related to the Clean Water Act, the Clean Water Act Amendments, and other legislation. The easiest way to locate legislative history on HeinOnline is by Popular Name.


You can search for online and print treatises ASU catalog by using subject headings such as Water – Law and Legislation and Water Rights. You can limit your results to e-books by clicking “Full Text Online” on the right. Print books available in other ASU libraries may be requested and delivered to you at the law library.

The Right to Water Politics, Governance, and Social Struggles (Farhana Sultana & Alex Loftus, 2012)
Diving into the complexities of the debate surrounding a human right to water, a scarce, expensive, indispensable resource producing a long history of conflict and cooperation.

Sustainable Solutions for Water Resources Planning, Design, and Implementation (James L. Sipes, 2010)
Amid the backdrop of increasing water demand and growing scarcity due to climate change, this book explores best management practices for water policy and infrastructure.

Water Law in a Nutshell (David H. Getches, 2015)
Introducing the central legal doctrines involved in distributing water resources, including the Western prior appropriation system of "first in time, first in right," groundwater management systems, and legal issues involving federal and Native American reservations. Also available on West Academic (login required).

Waters and Water Rights (Amy K. Kelley ed., 2019)
A deeper dive into the legal structures governing water distribution, from surface water allocation through prior appropriation or riparian rights, to groundwater. Discusses the public right to use water, Indian reservation rights, transboundary distribution, and environmental controls.


Foreign Law Guide 
This resource gives citations to environment and natural resources laws arranged alphabetically by country, along with information about how to find that country’s laws. You must be on the ASU campus to access this resource. Go to the “Laws by Subject” tab to locate laws by topic.

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals  
This HeinOnline index will lead you to law articles from countries worldwide. If the full-text of the article is not available, please contact the law library for assistance.  


UN–Water – coordinates the United Nations’ efforts on water issues, including the following organizations:

Researching the Human Right to Water with an Annotated Bibliography
This GlobaLex research guide, from the New York University School of Law, investigates research issues related to the right to water and suggests research methodologies.