Evolution of Australian Water Rights: Comparisons with the US West


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Where have 'modern, unbundled' Australian water rights come from? What were the legal, political and social enablers for change, and where were the obstacles?

In this short, engaging discussion, Megan will outline important turning points in the evolution of Australian water rights (ever wonder what is really meant by ‘unbundled’ water rights? And should one size truly fit all?) She’ll also consider how far lessons learned and paths taken might be adaptable to the US West, inviting participants to explore how the US West might respond to challenges similar to those faced in Australia.

About the speaker

Megan Dyson is one of Australia’s foremost water policy lawyers, advising the Australian Federal Government and various Australian State Governments on reform and implementation of new water laws for more than 20 years. Megan has been a key adviser on many of the important legal changes in Australian water resource management since 1995, including implementation in South Australia of 1995 national water reforms, and the 2004 National Water Initiative (NWI). The NWI continues to guide change in Australian water rights, and was a driving force for the Australian Government’s intervention in management of the Murray-Darling Basin in 2008. Megan was engaged by the Australian Government to help draft changes to federal law that provide the legal basis for its role in water management in the Basin. She has advised the Murray-Darling Basin Authority on matters including water trade and development of interstate water markets, and recovery and management of environmental flows, since 2000.

For additional questions, please contact waterinthewest@stanford.edu.