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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Law School to Co-Host Water Conference

The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico and the practice of hydraulic fracturing to find oil and gas are among the topics planned for the “Water; The Choices: Water Law and Policy” conference from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the C.A. Vine Arkansas 4-H Center.

The conference, sponsored by the Public Policy Center and the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law, will be at the center located at 1 Four-H Way in Ferndale. Admission is $55 for the general public and $20 for students. Lunch is included.

Attendees can register online. For more information, contact Kristin Higgins at 501.671.2160.

Emeritus Professor Ken Gould of the Bowen School of Law also will  lead a session on water navigability and the unanimous Supreme Court reversal of the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling that required a hydroelectric dam operator to pay the state of Montana nearly $40 million in back rent for the use of state-owned riverbeds.

Joseph Dellapenna, law professor at Villanova University, will present the keynote speech. He is a co-author of “Water and Water Rights,” the standard reference work on water law in the United States.

“The timing and topics of this Water Law and Policy Conference are extraordinary. The drought of 2012 underscores the importance of the state’s water resource,” said Tom Riley, director of the Public Policy Center of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

Combined sessions include:

  • Arkansas Water Plan – Ed Swaim, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, Water Resources Division Manager.
  • Chesapeake Bay total maximum daily load litigation – National Issues and Implications for the Mississippi River Basin – Susan Bodine, a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Washington, D.C., office. Bodine focuses her practice on environmental public policy issues including water pollution control and wetlands issues.

Concurrent sessions include:

  • Modeling data and the realities of using the information as a policy tool – Dr. Andrew Sharpley, professor, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
  • Water navigability after the Montana court decision – Ken Gould, professor, Bowen School of Law.
  • Gulf hypoxia and the Mississippi River Basin Initiative, its footprint and a big picture/Arkansas perspective – Mike Sullivan, Arkansas state conservationist for the Natural Resource Conservation Service.
  • Infrastructure life cycle – Graham Rich, CEO, Central Arkansas Water.
  • An update on Union County; A success story; Water policy after Sparta – Robert Reynolds, president of the Union County Water Conservation Board.
  • Instream flows – Dr. Dan Magoulick, professor of biology, University of Arkansas.
  • Fracking and deep injection wells in Arkansas – Shane Khoury, deputy director/general counsel, Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission.
  • Invasive species – Dr. Raghu Sathyamurthy, associate professor, entomology, University of Arkansas.
  • Numeric Nutrient Criteria – Florida and beyond – Susan Bodine.

For more information, visit the Public Policy Center online.