JELL Symposium 2015

Drought in the American West
A Symposium on Law, Policy, and Science

Register for the Symposium

Friday, September 25, 2015
8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
University of Oregon Knight Law Center
1515 Agate Street, Eugene, OR 97403

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.
CLE credits pending.

Presented by the University of Oregon Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center, Journal of Environmental Law & Litigation, and Oregon Review of International Law.

Water resources in the western United States are facing increasing scarcity in light of climate change, severe drought, over allocation and population growth.  The University of Oregon Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center, Journal for Environmental Law and Litigation, and Oregon Review of International Law are hosting Drought in the American West: A Symposium on Law, Policy, and Science, a day-long event exploring the western drought crisis. The event will feature water resource experts from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds for a robust discussion to inform possible solutions to emerging challenges in the context of drought, including foundational issues addressing property rights and the role of governments in ensuring adequate water resources for current and future generations.

Full Agenda 
*Regularly Updated

  • Welcome
  • Opening Remarks
  • Drought Law 101 
  • Food, Agriculture, and Drought: 
    Implications of water supply scarcity on food production and policy solutions at the federal, state and local levels.
    • Michael Fakhri, University of Oregon School of Law ​[Moderator] 
    • William Jaeger, Oregon State University, Department of Applied Economics
    • Laurie Ristino, Vermont Law School, Center for Agriculture and Food Systems
    • Nellie McAdams, Ecotrust - Food & Agricultural Systems Consultant
  • Energy and Drought: 
    The interrelationship between water availability and energy production, including the energy footprint of water distribution and the water footprint of energy production.
  • Urban Water Use and Drought: 
    The necessity of developing long-term planning tools for the growing demand of urban water supply, including the interrelationship between land use and water law.
    • Adell Amos, University of Oregon School of Law [Moderator] 
    • Michelle Bryan, University of Montana School of Law
    • Connie Ozawa, Portland State University, College of Urban & Public Affairs
  • Planning for Drought and Managing Conflict: 
    As western states face increasing cycles of drought, what are the processes needed to ensure appropriate planning while equitably resolving competing needs?
  • International Comparisons of Drought​: 
    Emerging drought cycles in the western United States have similarities and differences with water crises around the globe. What insights can we draw from the international arena to address changing needs over time?
    • Michelle McKinley, University of Oregon School of Law [Moderator]
    • Amy Hardberger, St. Mary's University School of Law
    • Aaron Wolf, Oregon State University College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
    • David Takacs, University of California Hastings School of Law
  • Ecosystem Protection and Drought: 
    In many areas of the West, management regimes leave insufficient in-stream flows for habitat protection and ecosystem protection. What principles should govern water allocation between human sectors and ecosystems in face of drought?
  • Lunch provided.
  • Reception following.
  • Oregon State Bar CLE credits pending.

Lunch Keynote

Dr. Roy Haggerty is the Hollis M. Dole Professor of Environmental Geology at Oregon State University's College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences where specializes in hydrology, hydrogeology, and ecohydrology. Haggerty is the lead PI for a National Science Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funded research project called Willamette Water 2100. The project involves building a hydrologic model for Oregon's Willamette River Basin that can anticipate water scarcity on a 100 year time frame. 

Closing Remarks

Holly Doremus is the James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation, Co-Director of the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment, and Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Research at the University of California - Berkeley School of Law. Doremus is a leading scholar and teacher in the areas of environmental law, natural resources law, and law and science. She will provide closing remarks about lessons learned from the symposium and more importantly, advice, and recommendations for future action. 

*Hotels are selling out quickly due to the home ducks football game and alumni reunion weekend! Please make reservations as soon as possible. 

Phoenix Inn Suites
Valley River Inn
La Quinta Inn & Suites
Comfort Suites
Candlewood Suites
Best Western New Oregon Motel

For questions, please contact ENR Program Manager Emily Johnson at 541-346-1395 or