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May 20 - 21, 2009

Critical Intersections for Energy & Water Law: Exploring New Challenges & Opportunities

The production, transmission and consumption of both energy and water are governed by often extremely complicated legal systems. As worldwide demands for both energy and water rises in the face of the current global economic crisis and ever-increasing environmental constraints, it is timely for a critical reexamination of the role that plays in promoting the sustainable development and use of these fundamental resources.

The University of Calgary Faculty of Law (Calgary, Alberta) and the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (Sacramento, California), together with their partners from Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), and UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy & Science, University of Dundee (United Kingdom), invited legal academics, practitioners, business leaders, and regulatory officials to a multi-national conference exploring vital new intersections of energy and water law. The global impact and potential influence of a conference of this is significant. Scheduled for May 21 and 20, 2009 in Calgary, Alberta, the hub of Canada's energy sector, the conference explored the domestic and transnational intersections of energy and water law regimes.

Conference presenters addressed such broad questions as:

  • What are the key (legal) issues in the energy/ water nexus and how do they articulate at international, regional and national levels of engagement?
  • Within any one given nation, how well do the often separate legal regimes interact? Between nations and across political borders, how do differences in legal regimes affect investment, development and consumption decisions?
  • What opportunities/challenges do the laws governing one of these resources pose for the sustainable development and use of the other, either domestically or transnationally?
  • Will a change in the laws governing one of these resources pose unintended consequences to the sustainable development and use of the other, either domestically or transnationnally?
  • What opportunities exist for greater coherency or integration between legal systems, either domestically or transnationally, with a specific focus on the energy/water nexus?
  • What are the relevance and role of law (energy/water) within the new economic order and what specific challenges arise within context?
  • How should the new administration and Congress in the United States address these important issues?