Monday, August 3, 2009

The Harmon Doctrine

I've just read an interesting post by Dr. Peter Gleick on the Harmon Doctrine, its impact on the relations of states and nations, and why the doctrine has been discredited. The post was prompted by the recent statement made by Georgia's governor that Georgia was entitled to use all the water that originates and falls in the state. The statement was made in response to the recent federal ruling that Georgia has been drawing too much water out of the ACF river system.

Not that he needs any validation from me, but I have to agree with Dr. Gleick:
It is time for Georgia, or China, or any water users in places where water is no longer abundant to stop posturing and start discussing how to share our rivers and our groundwater too. Just because you are first on a river, or upstream, or own a piece of land with groundwater does not mean that you have no responsibilities to other users, including non-human users, sharing the same watershed. Your use affects others. We may believe that these water resources are not connected to each other or that the use by one person has no effect on their neighbors or that the first user should have senior rights forever. And in the past this may have worked. But if we continue to use 20th century rules to solve 21st century water problems, conflicts over water will only worsen.

I highly recommend you check it out.

1 comment:

  1. This is very interesting. I honestly think that Water Laws are very important. Such a huge source of our hydration and diet has to be regulated in some way by a higher power.