Is access to water a human right? Is water a religious issue, or a boundary issue created by treaties? Is it a business issue? How should disputes over water be resolved and how should conflicting human values affect the resolution of water disputes? National and international experts addressed these critical water-related issues as part of the Hamline Law Review Spring 2008 Symposium, "Water, Catalyst of Life and Strife: A Threat to Security or a Vital Opportunity to Foster Cooperation?" that took place at Hamline University Sc hool of Law on Friday, April 4.
Symposium speakers included Great Lakes Water Commissioner Allen Olson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Director Kent Lokkesmoe (left), Canadian Senior Policy Analyst David Whorley, Hamline University School of Law Professor Larry Bakken, Florida A&M University College of Law Professor Robert Abrams, Chicago-Kent College of Law Professor Dan Tarlock, and Michael Tsur, founder and director of the Mediation and Conflict Resolution Institute in Israel.
They discussed climate change, population growth and rising demand that puts additional stress on shared resources and increases the potential for conflict. They also explored the current framework for addressing these issues through international and interstate cooperation. While all the speakers had distinctive and sometimes opposing points of view, all could agree that "water is synonymous with survival." Listen to the symposium presentations.