Comparative Indigenous Water Law in the Western United States and Australia

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Publication Type honors thesis
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Geography
Faculty Mentor Dr. Kathleen Nicoll
Creator Seshan, Thulasi
Title Comparative Indigenous Water Law in the Western United States and Australia
Date 2018
Description In 2010 the United Nations declared that water was a human right. Yet indigenous peoples around the world still do not have full access to water- to their human right. This paper attempts to understand what water rights indigenous people do have, and how those can be expanded to meet international human rights standardss. To this end, this paper undertakes a comparative analysis of the indigenous right to water in Australia and the Western United States. Protections at the federal level in Australia and the Western United States are primarily analyzed, but state and local protections are also briefly reviewed. This paper concludes that primary difference between the two legal systems is the types of water rights which they protect for their indigenous paper. The United States primarily protects economic water rights for its indigenous peoples; Australia primarily protects cultural water rights. Therefore, this paper concludes that in order to fully meet Native American's human right to water, protections for cultural water use by Native Americans must be expanded in the United States. This paper presents three specific policy proposals by which such access to cultural water could be expanded: modifying state-level definitions of beneficial water use, undertaking congressional action to overturn Lyng v. Northwest Cemetery Protective Association, and internal changes to the Department of Interior Bush Criterion. Suggestions for further research into productive policy solutions to the abrogated water rights of indigenous peoples are presented at the conclusion of this paper.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Thulasi Seshan
Format Medium application/pdf
Permissions Reference URL
ARK ark:/87278/s6ms95w5
Setname ir_htoa
Date Created 2020-05-19
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 1557722
Reference URL