Not a Drop to Drink: Water Rights in America
Friday, February 8, 2013

In this one day symposium, a distinguished group of legal scholars and leading professionals will come together to discuss water rights in America and the balancing of competing interests. This timely discussion will provide participants with an understanding of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers role in river management, and its effect on water supply planning and development. Regional water wars throughout the United States will be also discussed, with a special emphasis on the tri-state water war.

Registration is required for all attendees. Attendance students is free. For non-student attendees, the registration fee is $10.00.

CLE credits are currently being applied for-more information to come. Online CLE registration is required. Please go to

Breakfast and lunch will be served.

Hosted at the Atlanta office of

King & Spalding LLP
1180 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30309 --- Map

8:30 - 9:00 - Registration

9:00 - 9:15 - Opening Remarks from Dean Kaminshine

9:15 - 9:45 - Patricia T. Barmeyer , Partner and Head of the Environmental Practice, King & Spalding

10:00- 11:30 -- Managing Rivers for Competing Objectives

The Corps of Engineers reservoirs play a vital role in management, health, and control of the Nation's rivers. Among their many functions, they provide flood protection for downstream communities, supplement river flows to aid navigation, provide storage and releases for municipal water supply and agricultural irrigation, and significantly impact the environment, both positively and negatively. But protracted conflicts frequently arise among these and other purposes, as entrenched interests-often developed in reliance on a project's previous operations-do battle over how the federal project will be managed and operated into the future. This panel will discuss the various sources of legal authority for the Corps' reservoir operations, its process for developing reservoir operating plans, and how the Corps attempts to balance the various-and often competing-purposes of its projects.

Moderator: John Fortuna, King & Spalding, Tort Environmental Litigation


  • Victor Flatt , Tom & Elizabeth Taft Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law and Director of Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation and Resources, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Law
  • Daniel Inkelas , Assistant Counsel, Office of the Chief Counsel, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Andrew Warner , Senior Advisor for Water Management, The Nature Conservancy
  • Neil Purcell , Division Counsel, South Atlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

11:45 - 1:15 - Lunch and "A Comparative Look at the Regulation of Bottled Water" by Colin Crawford, Robert C. Cudd Professor of Environmental Law & Executive Director of the Payson Center for International Development, Tulane University Law School

1:30 - 3:00 - Water Supply Planning and Development

Georgia may have been handed a victory this summer when the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers has authority to allocate water from the Lake Lanier reservoir to meet metro Atlanta's water supply needs; however, the battle for fair and equitable water sharing between Georgia, Florida and Alabama is far from over. Although the Corps is currently updating the water control plans for the ACF and ACT river basins and Georgia will likely receive an increased water supply, Georgia must look beyond this allocation for a sustainable future. This panel will discuss Georgia's water supply crisis, current water supply development plans, and regional solutions.

Moderator: Chad Wingate, Director of Transactions and General Counsel at Affordable Equity Partners, Inc.


  • William Andreen , Edgar L. Clarkson Professor of Law, University of Alabama School of Law
  • Kevin Kelly , Water Resources Division Director, Georgia Environmental Finance Authority
  • Janice Griffith , Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School

3:15 - 4:45 - Regional Water Wars

Water has become a source of contention between communities world-wide as they grapple with water rights and how to balance supply needs with the ecological impact of withdrawals. This issue is no stranger to Georgia, which has been entangled in a struggle over water with Florida and Alabama for over two decades. This panel will discuss regional water wars across the United States with a special emphasis on Georgia's tri-state water war, as well as successful tactics for negotiating water disputes.

Moderator: Ryan Rowberry, Assistant Professor, Georgia State University College of Law


  • Dan Tonsmeire , Executive Director, Apalachicola Riverkeeper and member of the Governing Board for the ACF Stakeholders Group
  • Mark Squillace , Professor of Law and Director of the Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado Law School
  • Richard Hamann , Associate in Law, Center for Governmental Responsibility, University of Florida College of Law
  • Lewis Jones , Counsel, King & Spalding, Tort and Environmental Litigation

4:45 - 5:00 - Closing Remarks

Symposium Contact: Lisa Scatamacchia, Symposium Co-Editor