Friday, April 22, 2011

University of Denver Water Law Review Annual Dinner: A Gathering of Water Law and Policy Leaders and Analysts

One of the most enjoyable nights of the spring semester each year is the annual dinner of the University of Denver Water Law Review. And tonight was no exception.

The Water Law Review is unique among American law school journals since it focuses entirely on water law. It includes the highest quality articles from the leading figures in water law. Moreover, student prepared summaries of key water cases are valuable to all water practitioners.

Chairing the annual dinner marked one of the final responsibilities for current editor-in-chief, Ryan McLane, who received a standing ovation for his contributions to the Review. It also provided incoming editor-in-chief Matt Brodahl an opportunity to look ahead to next year's issues. Many of the Review's impressive staff of students were also on hand to enjoy the evening.

The Water Law Review really is one of the "crown jewels" at Denver Law. A highly respected source of the most current information about water developments, The Water Law Review is consulted each year by many of the nation's top water lawyers. In fact, a recent article has resulted in a currently on-going debate in Montana about whether to revise the state's water policy.

Joining in the dinner and collegiality were several individuals who have also been strong supporters of the Water Law Review including water law expert Professor George (Rock) Pring, faculty advisor since the inception of the Review, and Professor Tom Romero, who also teaches water law and will be joining Professor Pring as a faculty advisor. Both received warm applause from students who benefit enormously from their expertise and guidance. Professor and Associate Dean Fred Cheever also attended along with Adjunct Professor Star Waring, who teaches Water Law and has been involved in a recent series of the most important cases involving Colorado water law.

This annual event marks a proud night in Denver Law's long-standing commitment to environmental and natural resources law. Few institutions anywhere can boast of such an impressive group of professionals -- professors, students, members of the water law and policy community -- involved with water law.

Prospective law students who are interested in water issues should seriously consider Denver Law as a place to learn about water law as well as rub shoulders with sterling leaders such as Professors Cheever, Pring, Romero, and Warring as well as current students who are the water law and policy leaders of tomorrow.

Don C. Smith
Environmental and Natural Resources Law

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Robin L. Newmark, Director of the Strategic Energy Analysis Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Speaks at Denver Law May 4

The current portfolio of energy technologies in the U.S. has highly regionalized and technology-specific requirements for water. This portfolio is likely to evolve in coming years, shaped by various policy and economic drivers, which will have an impact on power sector water demands. Similarly, the water sector requires energy for pumping, distribution and treatment. Increasing demands for fresh water, combined with increasing treatment requirements, suggest an increase in energy demands by the water sector.

Analysis of future energy scenarios that incorporate technology options and constraints as well as different policies can provide insight into how the technology mix is likely to evolve along with the water consumption and withdrawal implications on both a national and regional level. Challenges posed by the water implications of future energy scenarios and the trends for the water sector are presented, along with some opportunities to address them.

On Wednesday, May 4, in room 125 at 12 noon, Robin L. Newmark, Director of the Strategic Energy Analysis Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), will address these issues.

Prior to joining NREL, Dr. Newmark was at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), where her research focused primarily on energy, environment and national security. In recent years, she has led or contributed to programs involving energy, climate and water issues, including the interdependence of water and energy systems; one example is a water initiative with components addressing the impacts of climate change on water resources, assessing denitrification in agricultural regions, and the development of energy-efficient, selective water treatment technologies.

Dr. Newmark is an active member of the multi-national laboratory Energy-Water Nexus working group, the World Resources Institute Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) Stakeholder Group and the U.S. – China Expert CCS Steering Committee. She is an author of over 50 papers, reports and patents, a Fellow of both the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the Center of Integrated Water Research at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Dr. Newmark holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was selected Phi Beta Kappa, a M.S. from the University of California at Santa Cruz, an M.Phil and a Ph.D from Columbia University.

The public is invited to attend.

Monday, April 18, 2011

European Union Continues to Pursue Climate Change Links With the United States: Climate Change Commissioner Connie Hedegaard Visits the U.S.

The European Union continues to push ahead on climate change policy. This has major consequences for any businesses wanting to sell in the 27 member state union.

Two recent events call attention to the EU's climate change initiatives. First, EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard was recently interviewed on E&E TV speaking about the EU's climate initiatives. Click here to see that interview.

Second, California, which will institute a carbon cap and trade system beginning next year, and the EU have begun talking about how to co-ordinate the two systems. The EU carbon market is many times the size of the California market. On the other hand, this represents the first time the EU and any governmental entity in the U.S. have considered working together on carbon cap and trade.

Does the EU-California potential link up portend more action in the U.S.? Doubtful to be sure. But it does suggest that the days of complete U.S. lack of action on the issue have come to an end. Stay tuned.

Don C. Smith
Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program