The Water Moratorium: Takings, Markets, and Public Choice Implications of Water Districts

Callagy, Sean
May 2008
Ecology Law Quarterly;2008, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p223
Academic Journal
This Comment analyzes a small town's efforts to regulate its municipal water supply by enacting a moratorium on new connections. The Comment relates the history of the policy, discusses the legal underpinnings of a water moratorium, and explores the effects of the moratorium. The Comment then discusses attributes of the moratorium, especially as it concerns the use of a formal governmental body to apportion rights, and queries why the moratorium has remained in place for nearly four decades. Finding that the moratorium represents a rational but imperfect response to scarcity of a critical natural resource, the Comment proposes a regime of tradable rights in water as a means of increasing efficiency in resource allocation while overcoming the institutional, legal, and societal deadlock perpetuated by the moratorium.


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