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Recognizing the Limits of Water Rights: Rejecting Takings Claims in <i>Klamath Irrigation District v. United States</i>

September 2006

Citation: 36 ELR 10726

Issue: 9

Author: Esther L. Westbrook

Editor's Summary: The Klamath Basin of southern Oregon and northern California is the setting of a water rights conflict that is about much more than just water. In this Article, Esther Westbrook examines a recent decision of the Court of Federal Claims, Klamath Irrigation District v. United States, that addresses some of the legal issues implicated when water rights, unsustainable land use, and endangered species collide. The case reminds us that water rights in the West come with legal restraints and limitations and that the government must work toward developing water policies that meet the needs of a changing society.

Ms. Westbrook earned her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School in May 2006, where she served for two years as an articles editor for Animal Law. The author wishes to thank Prof. Michael Blumm for his guidance on this Article, Russel Callen for his continuous support and encouragement, and Oreo and Nash for their companionship. This Article was a finalist in ELI's 2006 Endangered Environmental Laws writing competition.

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