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Monday, August 03, 2009

Whose water is it? Water rights in the age of scarcity.

Posted August 02 2009
Interesting Post that applies to what is happening between Florida, Georgia and Alabama in regards to the Apalachicola River

This is an old idea -- the water falls here or runs through here so why can't I use all of it? At the grandest scale, this idea is called "The Harmon Doctrine," which says that upstream water users have the right to do whatever they want with the water in their own "territory" no matter what harm it causes to downstream users. It was named after a U.S. Attorney General in the 1890s who said that Mexico had no right to any water that originates in the U.S., even if the river flows into Mexico. The only problem for Governor Purdue, and Georgia, is that the Harmon Doctrine has been universally repudiated: in international law, in U.S. law, and in any ethical or moral set of rules.
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