As Capetown, South Africa approaches “day zero” when it will exhaust its public water supply, access to sources of clean water has become a critical issue in many areas of the world. For the last two years Maryland Carey’s Environmental Law Program has been working with a multidisciplinary team of scientists researching ways of using water more efficiently. The Conserve project, under the direction of Professor Amy Sapkota of the University of Maryland School of Public Health, is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
The law school team, which includes Professor Robert Percival and Associate Dean Michael Pappas, has been researching the legal treatment of non-traditional water sources in several U.S. states. It has examined what can be considered to be best current practices for the legal treatment of such water resources.
Beginning in 2013 Maryland Carey’s Environmental Law Program has taken three groups of students to the Middle East to study water reuse practices there in cooperation with the Arava Institute and Dr. Clive Lipchin. Because water issues are of such immense importance in the Middle East these trips have demonstrated the usefulness of studying water reuse practices there.
In January 2018 Professor Percival traveled to Israel to participate in a joint forum on Water Reuse, Food and Health with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Held on the grounds of the Kibbutz Tzuba near Jerusalem, the forum involved two days of intense collaboration between U.S. and Israeli scholars with expertise in water issues. Professor Percival made a presentation on the work that Maryland Carey’s Environmental Law Program has been doing on the law of water resource management. The Environmental Law Program looks forward to future collaboration with the scholars at Hebrew University.