With increasing privatization and contamination of our precious water resources, how might communities proactively organize to ensure long-term stewardship of and access to water resources? This conversation will likely elicit more questions than answers, but it will help lay the groundwork for future inquiries and work. The Sustainable Economies Law Center is hosting this conversation, because, while we work to develop legal models for cooperatively managed energy, workplaces, housing, and farms, we have yet to inquire into the role of cooperative and other democratic structures in the management of water.
For this conversation, we are pleased to host Pearl Kan, Staff Attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow at California Rural Legal Assistance, where her legal advocacy is aimed at ensuring access to safe drinking water in the Salinas Valley. Pearl's work has led her to begin asking questions about the potential for cooperative legal structures to help communities take control of their water. We'll explore some of Pearl's questions and many other, including: How might a single well or group of wells be collectively managed for the benefit of a group of farmers or households? How can communities pool their resources to invest in and collectively manage water infrastructure? How might governance structures differ for drinking water versus irrigation water? How do water laws, environmental laws, and municipal water governance structures limit or support the development of autonomous community-managed water systems?
(photo by David Bales, Acequia y Corrales, New Mexico)
1741 Alcatraz Ave
Berkeley, CA 94703
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